You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown 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. Not too many problems emerged in this pretty satisfying transfer.
Sharpness generally appeared clear and crisp. Very few instances of softness emerged, as the show remained accurate and concise. Moiré effects and jagged edges did not present problems, and the image lacked edge enhancement.
In terms of source defects, it often became difficult to separate actual print flaws from sloppy clean-up animation. It became clear that most of the “defects” resulted from stray marks that didn’t get erased. However, I still noticed occasional specks, marks and dust. These were minor, at least, so I felt the issues remained minor.
Colors were quite strong and pleasing, with nicely replicated hues throughout the show. The DVD reproduced the lively natural palette cleanly and accurately. Black levels also looked deep and rich, and shadow detail was just fine. I thought the image was a little too messy to rise above a “B”, but I still found it to be pleasing.
Elected also provided relatively satisfying monaural audio. Dialogue sounded clear and crisp, with no edginess or dull qualities. Effects were sporadic and cartoonish but seemed acceptably clean and accurate. Vince Guaraldi's music was fairly lively and even offered mild bass at times. The overall production showed some thinness commonly found in recordings of the era, but I found it to provide perfectly acceptable sound.
The main extra here comes from a 2006 special called He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown. In this 21-minute and 33-second show, Charlie Brown and the others head to summer camp. “Joe Agate” hustles Rerun out of his marble collection so Charlie Brown intervenes. In addition, Peppermint Patty pouts because she’s stuck in summer school.
One of a handful of Peanuts specials to come out after Charles Schulz’s death, Bully derives its story straight from the comic strip. Coincidentally, the Classic Peanuts in the paper just ran this thread recently, so I could see the similarities. Actually, I’m not sure if Schulz created the Peppermint Patty side of things, but he definitely made up the marble-related parts.
This isn’t a bad Peanuts special, but it’s not particularly good, either. It lacks the clever edge of the best Peanuts stuff, and it’s darned odd to see Charlie Brown become a winner. I understand it exists to make a point about bullies, but why not make Linus or Lucy or someone else the one to teach Joe Agate a lesson?
Next we find a 12-minute and 10-second featurette entitled The Polls Don’t Lie: The Making of You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown. It provides remarks from producer Lee Mendelson, Peanuts historian Scott McGuire, director/animator Bill Melendez, Charles Schulz’s wife Jeannie, animation writer/historian Mark Evanier, animator Phil Roman, and actors Hilary Momberger and Todd Barbee. “Lie” looks at the project’s origins and development, aspects of the story and its timelessness, cast and performances, visuals and music, the title, and a few general thoughts.
I’ve enjoyed all of these Peanuts featurette, and “Lie” continues that good trend. Like the others, it’s a bit short and I’d like more details. Nonetheless, it throws out some nice info and proves useful.
The disc also includes trailers for the “Peanuts Holiday Collection”, Looney Tunes Golden Collection V6, Smurfs S1 V2 and Scooby-Doo And the Goblin King.
Maybe the first children’s special to address presidential campaigns – and still one of the few, I’d bet – 1972’s You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown holds up well. After 36 years and nine presidential elections, it remains relevant and amusing. The DVD presents good picture, perfectly adequate audio, and a few decent extras. This is a fun special and a nice release.