I have two favorite Christmas specials that I watch each year: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. If you are one of the few people in America to never see Charlie in his glory, you have to see it immediately! The music, the teacher, who I like to think I sound like sometimes (lol), and the great relationship between Snoopy and Charlie always get me in the Christmas mood.
What I love most about the special is that they refer to actual Bible verses throughout to give the true meaning of the season. I found some great trivia I wanted to share about the special with you. Hope you enjoy your Friday! My kids are having a party and watching the end of A Christmas Carol with Jim Carey, then I’m on vacation for 2 weeks!!!! Happy Friday friends!
–First animated Peanuts special.
–When they first saw the show, CBS executives were horrified at the idea of an animated Christmas special with such a blatant message. They also strongly objected to the fact that the show had no canned laughter.
–When viewing the rough cut of the show, both Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson were convinced that they had a flop on their hands. After it premiered, they were happily surprised and shocked at the high ratings and excellent reviews that the show received. Today, the show remains the second longest-running Christmas special on US network television (the 1964 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) premiered one year earlier and is still broadcast every year on US network television).
–Kathy Steinberg, who did the voice of Sally Brown, had not yet learned to read at the time of production, so she had to be fed her lines, often a word or syllable at a time, which explains the rather choppy delivery of the line “All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share”.
–Linus’s speech about the true meaning of Christmas is actually Luke 2:8-14 from the King James translation of the Bible.
–The original broadcast included some brief animated sections which included the logo of Coca-Cola, the show’s original sponsor. These have been edited out of subsequent broadcasts and the video release. Right after the opening title, Linus (or Charlie Brown, sources disagree) crashed into a sign advertising Coca-Cola after being tossed by Snoopy. (Look at current versions and you’ll notice that we never see where Linus lands!) The closing carol originally included the complete verse (instead of fading out) with a final on-screen “Merry Christmas from your local bottler of Coca-Cola” right after the United Feature Syndicate credit at the end.
–During his famed speech, Linus, who is well known to be dependent on his security blanket, actually lets go of it when he recites these words: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,” which is from Luke 2:10.
–Broke many of the rules prevalent for animated holiday specials during the 1960s: it didn’t make use of a laugh track; real children were used for the character voices instead of adult actors imitating children’s voices; and Biblical references were used to illustrate the true meaning of Christmas.