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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Snoopy speaks for the first time in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the animated version of the 1967 stage musical of the same name. In well staged, short sequences, Charlie Brown and friends ponder various aspects of the world around them, often in song. The songs are memorable, the characters lovable and the lessons poignant and funny. It's a great video for the whole family. Little kids will enjoy the short and lively musical sequences. Snoopy and the Peanuts gang appeal to grammar school kids, but don't expect preteens to buy into much of this story.
What's the story?
The world according to Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, and Sally is revealed through kid-friendly songs in YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN. From the title song, when Lucy and the others regale Charlie Brown's "wishy-washiness," to Lucy's hilarious wooing of an oblivious Schroeder ("Someday We'll Get Married"), to Charlie Brown's wrestling with a kite ("The Kite"), a kid's eye view is expressed through tuneful songs. During "Some Little Known Facts," Lucy sings facts about the natural world. Linus listens, aghast, as she explains that snow grows up from the ground, and is blown around by the wind. "Team", an ode to baseball, ends with Charlie Brown losing the game for his team because he's trying too hard to impress the little red-haired girl. The anthem "Happiness," lists all the things that make life worthwhile.
Is it any good?
It's not surprising that every small theatre group from Maine to Mississippi has put on the stage version of this delightful show. One of the most widely performed musicals of all time, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is rife with memorable songs and lots of funny scenes that bring the Peanuts gang's quirks and characteristics to center stage. Clark Gesner's lyrics and music are a good match to Charles Schultz's simply drawn yet expressive images. The voice actors used here are a good match to Charlie Brown and friends, with the jarring exception of Snoopy.
The beagle speaks for the first time, and it's hard to imagine what sort of voice kids will expect from him. An 8-year-old Snoopy fan was initially disturbed by the rather manly voice emerging from the beagle, but he quickly got used to this odd choice and enjoyed the rest of the video.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how they can create songs about the little things in their lives, like the characters do in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
What would you do if they were in Charlie Brown's shoes. Which character do you most identify with and why?
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