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"Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure": Seasonal Lessons, Sweetly Told

You know, I have to admit it: Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure is actually pretty good. Now, before you accuse me of going all soft and gooey on account the Christmas theme, I’ll just thank you to click over and read this little notice; does that sound like the work of a man ready to roll […]

TV Time Machine Posts Interview with Lee Mendelson on "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Jim Benson’s TV Time Machine website has posted a 3-part audio interview with Lee Mendelson, longtime producer of the Peanuts cartoons, focusing on A Charlie Brown Christmas. Among other topics, Mendelson discusses the Willie Mays TV special that led to his involvement in the Peanuts cartoons and why children were used to voice the characters, […]

The Gift of "Knishmas": At Least It's Better Than Socks

After fifty years of Christmas specials (and forty years after the “Peanuts” gang gave them a definitive form), is it possible to make a holiday special that is fresh, unpredictable, and yet as inevitable in its meaning as the unavoidable fruitcake? More to the point—because I’m egocentric this way—is it possible to review the modestly […]

"Shrek the Halls"? Skip It and Stick with the Classics

I’m not a huge fan of the Shrek films, finding them cynical and highly artificial cinematic exercises that are only intermittently funny. If I’ve lost you already, then odds are that Shrek the Halls is just the holiday special you’ve been waiting for, and you should stop reading now, since everything else in this review […]

Mental Floss Weblog on "A Charlie Brown Christmas" History

The mental_floss weblog has posted a summary of historical factoids about A Charlie Brown Christmas, the perennial animated holiday special starring the characters of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip. The post notes the origins of the special in a documentary about Charles Schulz, the reason why Snoopy gets all the action scenes, and the initial […]

"A Charlie Brown Christmas:" The Finest Christmas Cartoon of All Time

According to producer Lee Mendelson, the two top executives at CBS reacted negatively when they watched A Charlie Brown Christmas for the first time in 1965. “It seems a little flat…a little slow,” said one of them. The other said they would still air it since it was finished and paid for, but wouldn’t order […]

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