Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss an event that we all experience every year. This is something that we all grow up with, and no matter how old or young you are, it still has the same affect. What am I talking about you may ask? A little movie that we all love known as ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’! In 1965 ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ first aired on CBS, and thus started a Christmas tradition that would continue to enchant families for decades. The movie was commissioned by ‘The Coca-Cola Company’, which asked ‘Peanuts’ creator Charles M. Schulz and his team to create the special in 6 months, after they viewed an unaired documentary staring Schultz called ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’. This year ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ turned 50 so let’s discuss why this amazing movie has become engraved as a part of our Christmas tradition. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Although there are so many things about this movie that we love, I think that the 3 main things that you can pinpoint that makes ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ different than other Christmas specials is: the characters, the music, and the risks that this movie takes. One of the most important aspects of a great story is for it to have amazing, memorable characters that we can relate to. The Peanuts universe has brought us a lot of beloved characters from Lucy (the girl we all love to hate), Linus (the intelligent and practical one), Sally (the little sister we all wish we had), Snoopy (the cool one we all wish we were), and of course the wonderfully hilarious and fun Charlie Brown who we can all relate to on some level. Of course ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas wouldn’t be nearly as memorable without it’s amazing music. Whether you love more traditional sounding Christmas music such as ‘Christmas Time is Here’ and ‘Hark the Harold Angels Sing’, or music that brings a fresh feel to the season such as the unforgettable piano jazz number ‘Linus and Lucy’ (which you can check out in the video below), this movie will have you humming along to its’ diverse soundtrack long after Christmas is over. Finally, we need to discuss the incredible risks this movie takes. One of these risks is not using music in the style of what was popular at the time. A lot of times movies use catchy, modern sounds in order to easily win over an audience. ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ uses the opposite (and often risker approach) of using genres that weren’t necessarily in the forefront of the American public’s mind in the 60s, and thus makes very unique music that instantly mesmerizes you because it’s so different. Another risk that this movie takes is that it used actual child actors to voice the characters, and because of this adds a larger sense of authenticity to the roles. Shows/movies are notorious for using adults to portray teens and children, (because of legal, financial, and other reasons), so to use a cast that was primarily made up of children was very groundbreaking at the time (and is still VERY uncommon today). Using children actors also added a sincerity and innocence to the roles that really brought these characters to life on screen, and has set a bar that all Charlie Brown specials have had to try to live up to ever since. Because of all of these reasons, we can see why we love Charlie Brown so much, and why we’ll continue to sing, dance, and laugh along to ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for the next 50 + years.