Apr 20, 2014

Review: It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! (1974)

It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! is full to the brim with the typical charm you'd find in Charles M. Schulz's comic strips. It's a perfect mix of cute, smart and funny in a thirty minute package. A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favourite Christmas special that I watch without fail every single year during the holidays. Nine years later with ten TV specials and two feature films preceding it, It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is a worthy part of the Peanuts series.

The story follows the series of adventures/misadvenures of several Peanuts characters. Peppermint Patty is trying to teach Marcie how to make Easter eggs to hilarious results, Snoopy is trying to improve Woodstock's living conditions, Lucy in short wants presents and Linus is trying to spread word of the Easter Beagle to everyone. All the stories cross over with Charlie Brown being an observer for the most part.

It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! has an anti-consumer message that it delivers very appropriately without preaching. It starts with Lucy hinting to Schroeder that she'd like something for Easter and she continues on stating that Easter is a time of getting. Lucy's not the only one who's obsessing over things though because other characters guilty of doing the same thing.

To top it off, the gang go to a huge discount department store that is having a mega sale on Christmas items. Yes, CHRISTMAS items. Store signs announce that there are only 246 days til Christmas, so better get that shopping done ASAP.

There actually isn't any religious subtext and Easter is meant to be a time of renewal according to Linus. It's definitely a pretty big difference from A Charlie Brown Christmas in that respect. Both have big messages about anti-consumerism though. Linus' belief in the Easter Beagle is identical to his belief in The Great Pumpkin from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown so it's a nice mix of past Peanuts specials with familiar scenarios of Snoopy dancing for example and other recurring jokes.

This short features some really nice music, particularly for the climax scene that heightens its impact big time. The animation is timeless and voice acting is appropriate and memorable. I've been holding off on seeing It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown now for a while because I wanted to watch it when it was supposed to be watched. It's definitely been well worth the wait. 


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