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Bill Melendez
Wesley Singerman, Lauren Schaffel, Corey Padnos, Emily Lalande, Jessica D. Stone, Nicolette Little, Chrystopher Ryan Johnson, Bill Melendez
Writing Credits:
Charles M. Schulz

The Peanuts television special A Charlie Brown Valentine first aired February 14, 2002, on ABC. Featuring the inimitable characters of Charles M. Schulz this half-hour cartoon follows the lovesick Charlie Brown (voice of Wesley Singerman) as he pines for the love of the little red-haired girl. Peppermint Patty (voice of Emily Lalande) tries to talk sense into him. Meanwhile, Lucy (voice of Lauren Schaffel) demands the love of Schroeder (voice of Christopher Ryan Johnson). The script was cobbled together, posthumously, from Schulz's various comic strips, but the illustrator received screenwriting credit for it.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
English Stereo
Spanish Stereo
Japanese Stereo
Portuguese Stereo
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 25 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 12/28/2010

• “Someday You’ll Find Her, Charlie Brown” Special
• Preview


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A Charlie Brown Valentine (2002)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 99, 2009)

With a title like A Charlie Brown Valentine, you’d expect the 2002 program to be the first “Peanuts” foray into that particular holiday. Nope: Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown beat it to TV screens by 27 years! Though the A Charlie Brown Whatever Holiday title seems logical for all these specials, it’s not automatic; heck, there’s still never been A Charlie Brown Halloween.

Since I doubt I’ve seen Be My Valentine since I was a kid, A Charlie Brown Valentine will be my first “romantic Peanuts” adventure in quite some time. During this one, Charlie Brown (voiced by Wesley Singerman) pines after the Little Red-Haired Girl and tries to figure out how to win her love.

That theme covers most of the program, but other threads emerge. Both Peppermint Patty (Emily Lalande) and Marcie (Jessica D. Stone) exhibit interest in Charlie Brown, but he’s too clueless to understand this. Linus (Corey Padnos) rebuffs Sally’s (Nicolette Little) affection, and Schroeder (Christopher Johnson) does the same to Lucy (Lauren Schaffel).

I think the best “Peanuts” specials focus on one main story, so that bodes well for this one. No, it doesn’t approach the strong quality of the top shows, but at least the concentration on Charlie Brown’s unrequited love gives it a good sense of consistency. When the programs cover too much territory, they feel scattershot; it seems like the producers couldn’t come up figure out how to fill the time so they just grabbed whatever bits and pieces they could find.

That wasn’t an issue for Valentine. When it veers off toward non-Charlie Brown material, it does so in a fairly smooth, logical manner. Though these tangents could’ve been jarring, they fit together pretty well.

Most latter-day “Peanuts” specials tend to be fairly weak, and that seems especially true for those created after Charles Schulz’s death in 2000. He still gets the writing credit here, though I’d assume that’s not totally true; while the show takes its cues from comic strips, I doubt that Schulz actually wrote the whole thing, and I suspect that’s the case for all the post-2000 specials.

And probably many of the pre-2000 shows as well, but at least Schulz was still able to offer creative input on those. That’s not possible for something like Valentine, of course, which makes its relative high quality a nice surprise. Though it doesn’t compete with the best “Peanuts”, it keeps us entertained. It turns into a reasonably satisfying “Peanuts” romantic episode.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio C+/ Bonus C-

A Charlie Brown Valentine appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD. Due to those dimensions, the image has NOT been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though not excellent, the show usually looked good.

Sharpness mostly appeared appealing. Some jaggies occurred, and a few shots demonstrated severe blockiness during quick transitions, but those instances weren’t substantial. Most of the program offered nice clarity and definition. Shimmering wasn’t an issue, and edge haloes failed to materialize. The show also lacked source defects and seemed clean.

Colors looked pretty good. The show went with the usual primary tones and made them seem bright and appealing. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows – which were rare – appeared fine. Only the occasional jaggies and blocky elements made this a “B” image; otherwise it was consistently solid.

As for the stereo soundtrack of Valentine, it was modest but perfectly acceptable. The soundfield remained limited. Music displayed pleasant stereo spread, and a few effects broadened as well; in particular, a short thunderstorm made decent use of the side speakers. Otherwise, this was essentially a monaural track.

Audio quality worked well. Speech was natural and distinctive, and effects demonstrated good clarity. Music appeared rich and lush. Nothing here impressed, but the mix satisfied.

Only one extra shows up here: a bonus special entitled Someday You’ll Find Her, Charlie Brown. From 1981, Charlie Brown sees a cute girl at a televised football game and decides he must meet her. He and Linus go on a complicated journey to locate the possible love of Charlie Brown’s life.

Maybe they should’ve titled this one A Charlie Brown Taxi Driver, as he goes into full-on stalker mode. Of course, it takes an innocent view of his obsession, so don’t expect any “you talkin’ to me?” material. Like this disc’s main program, Someday doesn’t dazzle, but it’s an entertaining show. Linus does seem unusually clueless and insensitive, though, which is strange for the brightest bulb in the “Peanuts” universe.

The disc opens with an ad for Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown. No other promos appear on the disc.

Though it doesn’t compare with the best “Peanuts”, A Charlie Brown Valentine becomes reasonably enjoyable. I like its focus on one main story, and it develops its themes in a positive manner. The DVD provides generally good picture and audio along with an entertaining bonus special. This turns into a nice addition to the library of “Peanuts” fans.

Viewer Film Ratings: 5 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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