Peanuts: I Want A Dog For Christmas Charlie Brown:
I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! centers on ReRun, the lovable but ever-skeptical younger brother of Linus and Lucy. It’s Christmas vacation and, as usual, ReRun’s big sister is stressing him out, so he decides to turn to his best friend, Snoopy, for amusement and holiday cheer.
However his faithful but unpredictable beagle companion has plans of his own, giving ReRun reason to ask Snoopy to invite his canine brother Spike for a visit. When Spike shows up, it looks like ReRun will have a dog for Christmas after all… but then the real trouble begins.
The DVD has the 1985 special HAPPY NEW YEAR, CHARLIE BROWN, another worthy special with Charlie Brown stuck on Christmas vacation, having to read WAR AND PEACE instead of going to a Christmas party.
Also on the DVD is a ten minute documentary, SIBLING RIVALRY: GROWING UP VAN PELT. This focuses on ReRun through the years, and the creation of this special. Schulz’s widow is interviewed and they compare the comic strips that the special was based on to the finished product.
A Miser Bros. Christmas:
The story begins when Santa’s new chief mechanic, Tinsel, creates a speedy, new high tech sleigh for Christmas. But what Santa doesn’t know is that North Wind has secretly sabotaged the sleigh in the hope of taking Santa’s place that year. When Santa takes it out for a spin, he gets caught in the cross fire between the feuding Snow Miser and Heat Miser Brothers and his sleigh comes crashing down.
North Wind frames the Miser Brothers for Santa’s accident and, with Santa stuck in bed with a bad back, everything falls into place for North Wind to slyly come to the rescue as a temporary Santa. But much to his chagrin, Mother Nature punishes the Miser Brothers by forcing them to put their differences aside and fill in for Santa. In between comedic squabbles, the Brothers rediscover what it means to be family and, along the way, save Christmas for everyone!
Like A YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS, this was done in the same sort of puppet animation. The film is a lot better than the previous films, with the puppets cleaner and brighter. Personally, I always liked the charm of that not quite perfect Rankin Bass animation, but then again, I saw it for years and was used to it.
The DVD has an extensive making of documentary, interviewing those behind the scenes on how the animation was created.
Both titles are recommended for family Holiday viewing.