You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie, written by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz in the early 1970s, highlights the perils and pitfalls of the election cycle that are still current almost 40 years later. It's a mostly cynical view of politics, wrapped in the dependable humor and entertaining characters that comprise the Peanuts gang. Neither pedantic nor silly, the DVD is a good choice for young kids interested in politics.
What's the story?
Written by Charles Schulz in the year that George McGovern was challenging incumbent Richard M. Nixon for the presidency, YOU'RE NOT ELECTED, CHARLIE BROWN shows that some things in politics never change. Despite the title, it's actually Linus Van Pelt (voiced by Stephen Shea) who is running for student president at Birchwood School, with his pushy sister Lucy (Robin Kohn) as campaign manager. Between Lucy's intimidation techniques and some very funny help from Snoopy and Woodstock (in his first animated role), Linus has a chance to win the election. But even if he does, can he deliver on the promises he makes in his stump speech?
Is it any good?
As was true with most of Schulz' work, the DVD works on two levels. One is pure humor; even kids who don't care about the intricacies of polling and voting will be entertained by Snoopy in his "Joe Cool" persona, or Schroeder (Brian Kazanjian) turning a nominating speech into an ode to his hero Beethoven. But for older kids, it represents a chance to talk about whether there is any honesty left in the political process. Despite a mostly satirical tone, Schulz includes one moment of real integrity in the plot, and that is the one that lingers in the viewer's mind.
The 2008 remastered edition also includes He's a Bully, Charlie Brown, a 2006 television special that features Charlie Brown and the gang at summer camp. Joe Agate (Taylor Lautner) the camp bully, steals Reruns' (Jimmy Bennett) prize marble collection, and it's up to Charlie Brown to win them back.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Lucy's polling methodology. Do you think it swayed people's answers? If you could call in to a radio show and ask one question of a politician, what would it be, and whom would you ask? What did you think of Russell after he cast his ballot?