“Play It Again, Charlie Brown” is shockingly bad. About the only good part of it comes near the end, as Danny Hjeim’s Schroeder debates whether to play rock instead of Beethoven at a concert. There’s actual internal conflict and so on.
Unfortunately, it’s a small scene and can’t make up for the rest of “Play It Again”. No one escapes responsibility.
Melendez’s direction is mostly mediocre but occasionally bad. There are constant jump cuts and the editing, in general, is poor.
Charles M. Schulz’s script involves what boils down to a sci-fi deus ex machina, eradicating the other characters’ struggles in a few seconds.
But the worst part is Pamelyn Ferdin’s performance as Lucy. Maybe it’s mean to pick on a twelve-year old and whatnot, but she makes “Play It Again”‘s twenty-five minute runtime a grating annoyance. She’s just awful.
It’s a very disappointing Peanuts outing.
Directed by Bill Melendez; written by Charles M. Schulz; edited by Robert T. Gillis, Chuck McCann and Rudy Zamora Jr.; music by Vince Guaraldi; produced by Melendez and Lee Mendelson; released by Columbia Broadcasting System.
Starring Pamelyn Ferdin (Lucy van Pelt), Stephen Shea (Linus van Pelt), Danny Hjeim (Schroeder), Hilary Momberger (Sally Brown), Lynda Mendelson (Frieda), Christopher DeFaria (Patricia ‘Peppermint Patty’ Reichardt) and Chris Inglis (Charlie Brown).