I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown

Movie review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown Movie Poster Image
Mild 2003 TV special best for big Peanuts fans.
  • NR
  • 2004
  • 41 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Some characters are friendly to each other. Snoopy is a joyful dog and his energy is contagious. The characters are all seeking friendship, companionship, and fun. The intended message is that having a dog is a big responsibility, though that idea isn't strongly conveyed.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Charlie Brown is a decent kid, a good friend, and he tries to help his friends. But he doesn't play a big role in this movie. Little Rerun is a sweet optimistic boy, but he's constantly criticized by his mean older sister Lucy. The older characters can be pretty rude to each other, and Lucy's negativity is pronounced at times, including threats of cartoon violence.

Violence & Scariness

Frequent hitting with objects. Characters often go flying out the door or across rooms after being struck by another character. One brief scene of Snoopy flying his dog house through explosions.

Sexy Stuff

Lucy adores Schroeder and the feeling is not reciprocated. Schroeder insults Lucy and she gets frustrated with him.


Characters call each other "stupid" and "blockhead" when upset.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the kids are wise beyond their years and sorta grumpy. They argue frequently, often ending disagreements with a bonk to the head. At the end, the kids perform a religious-themed recitation. Other than this, nothing terribly controversial happens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by413804 February 4, 2012

Not worth it

A very poor Charlie Brown special that doesn't even have Charlie Brown in it very much. Watch the original Charlie Brown Christmas
Adult Written byCorrine1028 March 2, 2011
Kid, 7 years old April 17, 2010
Kid, 11 years old December 23, 2009

great for all ages

I think that this is a great movie.

What's the story?

Lucy and Linus's little brother Rerun desperately wants a dog for Christmas. His mother doesn't think he's responsible enough to have a dog. In the meantime, Rerun spends as much time as possible with Snoopy, a sometimes reluctant play-partner. In classic Peanuts tradition, Lucy courts the Beethoven-obsessed Schroeder, and Snoopy flies his dog house around in the sky. When Snoopy's brother Spike visits, Rerun hopes he will become his very own dog, but the wish proves elusive.

Is it any good?

Unlike the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, this holiday film doesn't have a strong message; without it, the movie seems mostly a collection of Peanuts tropes without anything special to offer. For series devotees, seeing the loveable and mischievous Snoopy fly his dog house around, or the crabby Lucy dress up like a nurse to plump up Snoopy's brother Spike, might be enough to stay entertained. For others, there are better introductions to the slightly depressed little boy named Charlie Brown.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about hitting. Why do the characters in this movie hit each other? Is it OK to hit people in real life? What's the difference between the hitting in this movie and hitting in real life?

  • Talk about pets. What are some of the responsibilities of owning a pet? What are some of the fun things about having a pet?

  • Talk about Lucy and Schroeder. Why does Lucy like Schroeder even though he's mean to her? What would you do if you were in Lucy's situation?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

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