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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2010

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"Peanuts Holiday Collection" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

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Synopsis

A collection of the three classic Peanuts holiday cartoons - It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas, all available on Blu-ray. Virtually everyone knows the stories of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang, The Great Pumpkin tells the story of Halloween for the group, where Charlie Brown manages to get himself invited to a Halloween party, while Linus waits in the pumpkin patch for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin. In a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown gets roped into hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for everyone and has to enlist Snoopy and Woodstock to help out. Finally, in A Charlie Brown Christmas, everyone is excited about the arrival of Christmas and the holidays, except for Charlie Brown.

Specifications

  • Warner Brothers
  • 1965-1973, Color, Rated PG, 25 min/each
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Codec: VC-1
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Starring: Peter Robbins, Bill Melendez, Chris Doran (voices)
  • Directed by Bill Melendez
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

These are holiday classics for a reason. Wonderful films to watch again on your own, or with your kids, they are a fantastic way to spend an evening. The Christmas episode would be my favorite, but all of them are wonderful.

Technical

The films are a bit of a mixed bag technically. Starting with Halloween, the image is wonderful, with bright, bold colors and very little noise, up until the final scene with the credits. Perhaps the source elements weren't as good for that final shot, but the majority of the film is very nice. Unfortunately, the whole Thanksgiving episode looks like the final shot of Halloween, with lots of grain or film noise, dull colors, and not nearly as much detail, looking like they recycled an older transfer. Christmas started out the same way as Thanksgiving, but after the first minute or two, it was once again bright and colorful like Halloween was. I was OK with the individual scenes being a little bit worse, since the films are older and the source elements might not be in great shape, but the whole Thanksgiving episode was a bit of a let down.

The soundtracks were pretty sparse overall, using the surrounds for mostly ambient effects and almost everything else coming from the center channel. Unfortunately A Charlie Brown Christmas recycles a Dolby Digital low bitrate soundtrack from the DVD release, instead of the DTS-HD Master Audio tracks found on the other releases. These are certainly not designed to show off your surround system, but overall the results are fine.

Extras