Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang have always had all kinds of fun adventures. Most of the time they are celebrating the holidays together like Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, and Halloween. There have even been times that they’ve gone on white-water rafting trips together and even headed over to Europe for a vacation they’d never forget. And who can possibly forget heading across the country for the national spelling bee? So many adventures, and so little time, but that doesn’t mean that a little seriousness isn’t in order. At this time when the United States is about to elect its next President, it’s time to poke a little fun at the government when Charlie Brown runs and isn’t even close to being elected.
It’s time for the gang to vote for student body president at school after Charlie Brown convinces his sister Sally to not drop out due to not being able to get her locker open. Everyone is talking about who should run and Linus is all about backing Charlie Brown to be President, but Lucy wants to see if it is even worth it so she runs a popularity poll. Let’s just say that the poll doesn’t spell out anything good for Charlie brown. Lucy runs another poll that has some sketchy results stating there is a ninety-nine percent chance Linus would win if he ran. Signs are being made, political promises are being given, and everything is leaning towards Linus becoming school president and winning the election in a landslide…except he decides to talk about the one thing he truly believes in and no-one else does, the Great Pumpkin.
Expecting a totally serious episode involving Charlie Brown and the gang just because it involves politics? You have another thing coming. Charles Schulz did a fantastic job of poking fun at the political issues going on in the real world by recreating it with his beloved characters. The candidates give promises and look quite exciting in the eyes of the voters until they make that one fatal mistake and mention the single thing that should have been left behind. In this case it’s the famed creature which makes a triumphant return from It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I love seeing the continuity between episodes that connects them and makes it appear as if they are in chronological order.
You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown gets a bad wrap that it doesn’t deserve simply because people don’t look at it the same way as they do all the holiday episodes. Maybe it’s because of the “political” content or just the fact that I don’t remember it ever getting the same amount of air time that the Christmas or Thanksgiving episodes did. Every year those would come on when the time of year hit, but how often and for what reason would the election episode have to come on the air? Considering that the Peanuts only get airtime for special occasions, this is not one that ever sees the light of day. Quite a shame because it’s really a lot better then anyone gives it credit for.
The short is shown in 1.33:1 Full Frame format and looks brilliant. Everything appears to have been touched up and made to look brighter, fuller, and more vibrant. They have really done a bang-up job here getting the episode to come through looking fantastic for being as old as they are.
The short is heard in Dolby Digital Mono sound and you can tell that this has also been remastered to come through a bit clearer then past releases. A little hiss and some pops can be heard here and there but for the most part all dialogue, and more importantly the music, is heard loud and clear.
He’s A Bully, Charlie Brown – This is another full-length short that sees some of the gang head to summer camp. Rerun ends up being bullied by a big kid at camp and having all of his grandpa’s marbles taken from him. Charlie Brown takes a big time initiative and steps up to help his friend. The episode itself isn’t that bad, but let me just let you all know that this episode was released in 2006. Compared to the older episodes: this one is just frustrating. The voices being different just don’t seem to fall into place. It’s weird but it feels as if they don’t even match up with the characters. Oh well, it’s still enjoyable to watch if you can get past the voices.
The Polls Don’t Lie: The Making Of You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown – This episode was meant to make a political statement simply because there was a lot of distrust and confusion going on with the government at the time with then President Nixon. Everyone who knew Charles “Sparky” Schulz simply did this to poke fun at all the seriousness going on in the world at the time. His wife and others share some stories as to why they believe he wrote these comic strips which lead to this episode. This feature runs just over twelve minutes and gives a lot of fun information behind what could be taken as a rather serious Peanuts’ short.
Trailers – Peanuts’ Holiday, Scooby-Doo And The Goblin King, Looney Tunes Collection Vol. 6, and Smurfs Season 1 Vol. 2
Alright, so it doesn’t have a dinner consisting of jellybeans and popcorn. Maybe it doesn’t have the World War flying ace fighting his arch nemesis. And perhaps there’s no skinny tree and heartfelt singing. That doesn’t mean You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown should be overlooked because it’s still a lot of fun and good old Peanuts’ humor at its best. I’ll fully admit that I like the holiday episodes better, but it was a welcome change seeing this episode after years of catching the others repeatedly. The special features are kind of hit or miss because the “making of” featurette it really good, but the extra episode is not much to write home about. I can’t expect the newer episodes to have the same exact feeling and charm that those from the seventies had because of new animators, new storytellers, and new voice actors, but I’d like at least a little more effort put forth. Call me picky, but I’d rather see a five cent psychiatrist any day over watching that again.
Warner Home Video presents You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown. Directed by: Bill Melendez. Starring (voices): Chad Weber, Robin Kohn, Stephen Shea, Hilary Momberger, and more. Written by: Charles M. Schulz. Running time: 25 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: October 7, 2008. Available at Amazon.