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Bill Melendez
Chad Webber, Robin Kohn, Stephen Shea, Hilary Momberger, Todd Barbee
Writing Credits:
Charles M. Schulz

It's a run for school presidency and it looks like Linus is going to win until the campaign comes down to a blanket issue.

Rated NR

Fullscreen 1.33:1
English Monaural
Portuguese Monaural
Japanese Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 25 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 10/7/2008

• “He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown” Special
• “The Polls Don’t Lie: The Making of You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown” Featurette
• Previews


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Harman/Kardon DPR 2005 7.1 Channel Receiver; Toshiba A-30 HD-DVD/1080p Upconverting DVD Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown: Deluxe Edition (1972)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 17, 2008)

When we think of occasions that inspire seasonal TV specials, holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter come to mind. Few outside the Beltway would envision a special about Election Day, but that’s exactly what we get via 1972’s You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown.

The eighth Peanuts special, Elected offers a mild satire of the ways of the politicos as Linus runs for class president. With Lucy as his campaign manager and Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock assisting, events are sure to be wacky.

And they are for the most part throughout this mildly entertaining special. Though not a classic, Elected nonetheless holds up fairly well on its own. The program deftly and subtly looks at the silliness of the electoral process and can be amusing and entertaining.

Elected suffers a little from some cast members, especially due to the absence of original Charlie Brown Peter Robbins. I thought he created the definitive CB, and none of his successors have been quite as good. Chad Webber does okay, but he’s not a great follow-up to Robbins.

On the other hand, Stephen Shea provides a very good Linus. He brings a little edge to Linus that the character needs. Shea adds a cool imperious tone to Linus’ campaign speech and his subsequent rantings.

Maybe my favorite moment comes from Linus’ radio call-in show. Even 36 years ago, those programs suffered from the same problems that hamper modern broadcast, and Elected highlights that. We get all the rambling idiots without anything coherent to say, and even the ubiquitous “first-time caller, long-time listener” bit appears. I didn’t realize that was already a cliché in 1972.

One other surprise comes from the insanely anthropomorphic bent given to Snoopy. I didn’t realize Peanuts had made him such a human-oriented dog already by 1972. This Snoopy cooks a big breakfast and makes bag lunches for CB and Sally! The show even turns him into a wannabe student, though at least it stops short of making him a true academic sort; as we see, Snoopy can’t write anything more than a paw print. It’s a goofy trend but not one that harms the show.

Overall, Elected works pretty well. One might expect it to feel dated since it came before the 1972 election, but that doesn’t happen. It focuses on the timeless aspects of election nonsense and amuses along the way.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Not too many problems emerged in this pretty satisfying transfer.

Sharpness generally appeared clear and crisp. Very few instances of softness emerged, as the show remained accurate and concise. Moiré effects and jagged edges did not present problems, and the image lacked edge enhancement.

In terms of source defects, it often became difficult to separate actual print flaws from sloppy clean-up animation. It became clear that most of the “defects” resulted from stray marks that didn’t get erased. However, I still noticed occasional specks, marks and dust. These were minor, at least, so I felt the issues remained minor.

Colors were quite strong and pleasing, with nicely replicated hues throughout the show. The DVD reproduced the lively natural palette cleanly and accurately. Black levels also looked deep and rich, and shadow detail was just fine. I thought the image was a little too messy to rise above a “B”, but I still found it to be pleasing.

Elected also provided relatively satisfying monaural audio. Dialogue sounded clear and crisp, with no edginess or dull qualities. Effects were sporadic and cartoonish but seemed acceptably clean and accurate. Vince Guaraldi's music was fairly lively and even offered mild bass at times. The overall production showed some thinness commonly found in recordings of the era, but I found it to provide perfectly acceptable sound.

The main extra here comes from a 2006 special called He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown. In this 21-minute and 33-second show, Charlie Brown and the others head to summer camp. “Joe Agate” hustles Rerun out of his marble collection so Charlie Brown intervenes. In addition, Peppermint Patty pouts because she’s stuck in summer school.

One of a handful of Peanuts specials to come out after Charles Schulz’s death, Bully derives its story straight from the comic strip. Coincidentally, the Classic Peanuts in the paper just ran this thread recently, so I could see the similarities. Actually, I’m not sure if Schulz created the Peppermint Patty side of things, but he definitely made up the marble-related parts.

This isn’t a bad Peanuts special, but it’s not particularly good, either. It lacks the clever edge of the best Peanuts stuff, and it’s darned odd to see Charlie Brown become a winner. I understand it exists to make a point about bullies, but why not make Linus or Lucy or someone else the one to teach Joe Agate a lesson?

Next we find a 12-minute and 10-second featurette entitled The Polls Don’t Lie: The Making of You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown. It provides remarks from producer Lee Mendelson, Peanuts historian Scott McGuire, director/animator Bill Melendez, Charles Schulz’s wife Jeannie, animation writer/historian Mark Evanier, animator Phil Roman, and actors Hilary Momberger and Todd Barbee. “Lie” looks at the project’s origins and development, aspects of the story and its timelessness, cast and performances, visuals and music, the title, and a few general thoughts.

I’ve enjoyed all of these Peanuts featurette, and “Lie” continues that good trend. Like the others, it’s a bit short and I’d like more details. Nonetheless, it throws out some nice info and proves useful.

The disc also includes trailers for the “Peanuts Holiday Collection”, Looney Tunes Golden Collection V6, Smurfs S1 V2 and Scooby-Doo And the Goblin King.

Maybe the first children’s special to address presidential campaigns – and still one of the few, I’d bet – 1972’s You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown holds up well. After 36 years and nine presidential elections, it remains relevant and amusing. The DVD presents good picture, perfectly adequate audio, and a few decent extras. This is a fun special and a nice release.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.5714 Stars Number of Votes: 7
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