Jump to content
Santa Castor

How A Charlie Brown Christmas Became a Surprise Christmas Classic

Recommended Posts

Santa Castor

How A Charlie Brown Christmas Became a Surprise Christmas Classic

Parade
By Greg Daugherty
10 October 2015

EXCERPT:

LeeMendelson-FTR1.jpg

When A Charlie Brown Christmas made its TV debut 50 years ago this December, few people could have imagined it was destined to be a holiday classic.

The story of young Mr. Brown’s quest to find the true meaning of Christmas while everyone around him—including his dog, Snoopy—is caught up in the season’s commercialism was lucky to get on the air at all.

Even its makers had their doubts. As they prepared to preview it for CBS network executives, both director Bill Melendez and producer Lee Mendelson worried that the half-hour cartoon was too slow-paced to hold viewers’ attention.

“I hoped the network would like it better than we did,” Mendelson says now. “And they didn’t.”

In fact, the executives had a whole list of concerns. They thought the animation was crude, the voices amateurish and the music downright weird. And, truth to tell, they were right on all counts.

The animation was crude, with fewer drawings than the more sophisticated cartoons of the day, in part because the show had to be rushed out in less than six months. The voices were amateurish—real children as opposed to adult actors pretending to be kids, as was usually the case. The score, by jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, was a bold break from conventional holiday music.

But the execs may have had an even bigger worry. Unlike most Christmas specials, this one actually had some religion in it. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz had insisted on a scene in which the character Linus recites verses from the Bible about the birth of Jesus.

The cartoonist drew the line on some other common TV practices, as well. For example, he insisted the show be made without a laugh track, a standard feature on cartoons in those days. He thought people were smart enough to know whether something was funny or not.

...

SOURCE: http://parade.com/432941/gdaugherty/how-a-charlie-brown-christmas-became-a-surprise-christmas-classic/

##

Holy Cow!  I remember the first airing.  I doubt it would ever be aired on TV in today's PC climate if it had not attained its status as a Christmas Classic

 

Edited by Santa Castor
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Santa Johnny Boy

I remember seeing the first airing, too.  There was a lack of children's Christmas specials on TV.  Charlie Brown and Rudolph changed all that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SCSanta

It's a classic in our house. We have the 3 box set (Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas) and they are played every year. My daughter also plays them in her classroom.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kris Claus

I remember reading how the TV execs wanted to can the religious aspect as it may be "offensive".  In the 1960's?  The only ones offended were them as people of faith love this classic based on centering around the birth of the Savior.

I love to catch it every year if I can even though I have it recorded.  Just not the same as watching it live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Santa Bruce Geron

I love this special! It's great to see that the stage rights have been released this year. So many Community Theatre companies are  presenting it this year.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Donations

    All donations go directly towards the cost of hosting and running ClausNet!

    Your support, through donations or simply by clicking on sponsor links, is greatly appreciated!

    Donate Sidebar by DevFuse
  • Our picks

    • Every Once in A While
      Every once in a while I see some flagrant abuses of Santa’s appearance and etiquette. It strikes me some men don’t care about how they act or portray the beloved character of Santa.

      Gentlemen, you undertake an awesome responsibility when you button up your Santa Suit. Don’t take it lighty!

      The “World” has an image of Santa as represented by illustrations, traditions and personal contact. Believe it or not, you’re being measured by those who see you for your authenticity.

      You’re fooling yourself if you believe that no one notices or cares if your bead is yellow or unkempt. Maybe you’re also missing a few of those pearly whites, or they are stained from tobacco products. Again, don’t fool yourself….kids notice everything! I have a gold crown capping one of my lower teeth. Every once in a while, I have an inquisitive youngster question what that gold thing is in my mouth. Years ago I thought it was well hidden however; kids have uncanny radar to pick out any of our flaws….

      You may be asking yourself, “What difference does it make? “It’s not the Christmas Season.” Maybe it isn’t however, If you’re representing Santa, you’re representing one of the most recognizable characters in the world. What you do reflects upon me and every Santa reader of this article. If you’re going to be recognized then do justice to the character we are reenacting.

      Over the years I have been a Santa, I have frequently been by told by people about the Santa they hired or saw which left a very poor expression. Most of their comments were predictable. Their Santa did not interact with the children as expected or he was unprepared. He was unanimated, had a dirty suit or lack luster beard. Obviously these are sure fire ways never to be called to this group again.

      Think about what impression you make as a Santa and pay attention to developing your character. You can become one of the best Santas in your area by learning everything about your character and performing from the heart.

      Always remember: It's not about you. It's about the children.

      Santa Lou Knezevich is the creator of the Legendary Santas Mentoring Program
      Contact Santa Lou at: LegendarySantasMentoringProg@gmail.com
        • Love
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • If You Have the Post Christmas Blues You’re Doing Christmas Wrong
      The post-Christmas blues are a very real thing. Once the date of December 25th has passed the specter of December 26th is an ominous marker to many. It sits there on the calendar like the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come. Silent and foreboding, the very image of the hooded Angel of Death it seems to be. And why not?

      Just about anywhere you look Americans are tossing trees to the curb, ripping down lights from rooftops and radio stations are flipping back to everyday music. What took months to build gets deconstructed in a matter of a couple of days.
        • Like
      • 26 replies
    • Auld Lang Syne
      Every New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, millions around the world traditionally gather together to sing the same song, “Auld Lang Syne”. As revilers mumble though the song’s versus, it often brings many of them to tears – regardless of the fact that most don’t know or even understand the lyrics. Confusion over the song’s lyrics is almost as much of a tradition as the song itself. Of course that rarely stops anyone from joining in.
        • Wow
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • Merry Christmas, My Friend
      Every year around this time, some variation of this poem is circulated online. The poem is generally credited to “a soldier stationed in Okinawa” or more recently since September 11, 2001, “a Marine stationed in Afghanistan”.

      However, the poem’s true author is Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt.

      Originally entitled, “Merry Christmas, My Friend”, Corporal Schmidt wrote the poem in 1986 while serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, in Washington, D.C.

      That day the poem was placed in the Marine Corps Gazette and distributed worldwide. Schmidt’s poem was later published in Leatherneck (Magazine of the Marines) in December 1991.
        • Sad
        • Love
        • Like
      • 1 reply
    • Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?
      Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?

      Do you think we should start calling out those in our community whose actions or behavior is unbecoming of Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus?
        • Wow
        • Like
      • 94 replies
About | Forums | Blogs | Newsletter | Contact


© 2019 MJR Group. LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Copyright IP Policy

Proud affiliate of My Merry Christmas!

Subscribe to the ClausNet Gazette

Enter your email address to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

About ClausNet

The ClausNet community is the largest social network and online resource for Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Reindeer Handlers, and Santa helpers for the purposes of sharing stories, advice, news, and information.
×
×
  • Create New...