As hard as director Melendez tries, there’s not much he can do with “You’re in Love, Charlie Brown.” The special’s two salient problems are the animation and the writing. Melendez comes up with some truly stunning shots in the special; for example, he closes with a beautiful zoom out with a lot of activity. But the actual animation–the movement, the illustration of the characters and settings–is bad.
But he could probably overcome that one, especially since the music from Vince Guaraldi is particularly excellent.
Charles M. Schulz’s writing, however, is insurmountable. Over the first half is spent on Charlie Brown whining about no one liking him and how much he likes the Little Red-Haired Girl. It makes Peter Robbins’s Charlie Brown unlikable.
The final ten minutes pick up a little, thanks to Melendez’s ambitions. The special doesn’t succeed, but Melendez is able to keep it from failing.
Produced and directed by Bill Melendez; written by Charles M. Schulz; music by Vince Guaraldi; released by the Columbia Broadcasting System.
Starring Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown), Christopher Shea (Linus Van Pelt), Sally Dryer (Lucy van Pelt), Kathy Steinberg (Sally Brown), Gail DeFaria (Patricia ‘Peppermint Patty’ Reichardt) and Ann Altieri (Violet).