The First Friends-giving
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
By: Q2 Sixth Grade Journalism Class
Turkey. Stuffing. Mashed Potatoes. Football. Pumpkin Pie. All are long standing traditions of our Thanksgiving celebrations. But just how did Charlie Brown become associated with our day of thanks?
The special first aired on November 20 on the CBS Network, and continued to air every year on that network until 2000. In 2001, it moved, along with the rest of the Peanuts specials, to ABC. ABC airs the special on Thanksgiving night, although it also has aired on other days before the holiday. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the tenth prime-time animated TV special based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles Shultz. It was originally aired on the CBS network on November 20, 1973, and won an Emmy Award. It was written and created by Charles M. Schulz and directed by Bill Mendez and Phil Roman. It was the third holiday special after A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965 and The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in 1966.
Many viewers sent complaints to CBS in 1973 about Woodstock eating a turkey with Snoopy, seeing it as an act of "bird cannibalism." Charles Schulz insisted that Woodstock join snoopy in carving and eating a turkey, despite protests. Sally states , " I didn't finish all of my Halloween candy." This can be considered an error because in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Sally does not go Trick or Treating and stays in the pumpkin patch with Linus instead.
The special opens with Lucy convincing Charlie Brown to kick the football she is holding. Charlie Brown at first refuses, correctly suspecting that Lucy will pull it away as always; but Lucy convinces him that kicking the football is a Thanksgiving tradition. Charlie Brown decides that Lucy would never pull her trick on a national holiday, and ends up getting deceived and landing flat on his rear once again. Some of the other highlights of the special include, Peppermint Patty inviting herself to Charlie Brown’s dinner, Grandma inviting everyone over for dinner, and Patty getting mad at Charlie Brown for the popcorn, toast, and jellybean dinner. Charlie and his friends learn that being thankful and being with those that care about you is what really matter, not the dinner.
As of 2017, the special continues to be aired every November on the ABC network. It can be viewed on November 22 at 8:00pm.
Sources: ABC, Peanuts