It’s a December Tradition, Charlie Brown
Imagine it’s 1965 and you’re a television executive viewing a prospective holiday special for the first time. It’s based on a comic strip that’s popular, but…hey, it’s just a comic strip. The story progresses at an almost uncomfortably slow pace and springs from the misery and misfortune of the main character, who muses in the first scene: “I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.”
Not exactly the feel-good cartoon of the season.
The special, of course, was A Charlie Brown Christmas, which, despite what must have seemed like a string of flashing red lights (its cool jazz score; a spare, contemplative script voiced by inexperienced child actors; no laugh track) was given the green light by CBS. The project had taken on enough momentum by the time of that initial screening that the powers that be had little choice but to give it a shot. The half-hour production debuted on December 5, 1965, becoming an instant hit (nearly half of all TV viewers tuned in) and maintains its holiday tradition status to this day.
We’re once again pleased to present a special two-disc Charlie Brown Christmas package that includes both the inspired Vince Guaraldi score on CD and a complimentary bonus DVD of the television presentation. Generations have enjoyed it, as will generations to come.
Good grief. Can you imagine if some network blockhead had given it a thumbs-down all those years ago?