Stuff I Watch in December: Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales (2002)

Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales

Happy Holidays and welcome! We are counting down the days until December 25th and, in that time, I will be reviewing each and every Christmas/holiday film I watch during the month. They’re mostly a selection of films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.

Please enjoy and leave a comment!

And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:

Holiday Inn (1942)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
White Christmas (1954)
Santa Claus (1959)
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
I Believe in Santa Claus (1984)
Lethal Weapon (1986)
Die Hard (1988)
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
Scrooged (1988)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Home Alone (1990)
Die Hard 2 (1990)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown (1992)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Jingle All the Way (1996)
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
Home Alone 3 (1997)
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)
Olive the Other Reindeer (1999)

Our next film is…

WATCHING: Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales (2002)

Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales

DIRECTOR: Larry Leichliter who has basically been a fellow animator on most of the “Peanuts” animated specials and various films. He’s also helped on a few other animated properties as well.

WHAT IS IT?: The third Peanuts Christmas special.

THE PLOT: Five Peanuts stories are here for your Christmas viewing pleasure:

1) Snoopy is working as a Salvation Army Christmas donation bell ringer and is at odds with the cat next door who keeps clawing at his dog house.

2) Linus makes a new friend at school who is obsessed with him.

3) Sally attempts to give the perfect gift — but has trouble with a local boy and a Christmas tree she wants.

4) Lucy makes a resolution to be more nice during the holidays — but finds that it’s harder to get people to get her the gifts she wants.

5) Charlie Brown and his sister Sally attempt to stay up late and wait for Santa — with surprise results.

WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?: It got decent reviews from video reviewers who called the special likable. The longer cut is supposed to be slightly better.

WHAT DID I THINK?: There’s nothing really great, or even good, about this Peanuts TV special. It’s probably the least of the four Peanuts Christmas specials. The biggest flaw is that the special feels hurriedly glued together with five small, unrelated stories all crammed into a 20-minute window, giving them no time to breathe.

As such, Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales might be cute and induce some smiles but they’re relatively uninteresting.

At least it’s pleasant and goes by fast. Recommended for kids and Peanuts die-hards only.


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