Tag Archives: Christopher DeFaria

There’s No Time for Love, Charlie Brown (1973, Bill Melendez)

There’s No Time for Love, Charlie Brown takes about seven minutes to get into the main story–Charlie Brown and the other kids go on a field trip to the art museum–and about seventeen minutes to get to the title relevancy. At first it seems like there’s no time for love because the kids are all so busy with school. No Time opens with a series of short vignettes chronicling the various kids at school. Charlie Brown gets some time, Peppermint Patty gets time, Linus, Sally, Franklin, Snoopy, some Lucy. The vignettes are funny–writer Schulz knows how to do a comedic vignette–and No Time could probably maintain for the whole half hour on nothing else.

The vignettes do tie in a bit–Charlie Brown (Chad Webber) needs to get an A on his field trip report in order to pass his class. Before the field trip No Time concentrates mostly on Peppermint Patty (Christopher DeFaria) and Marcie (James Ahrens), even though they’re at a different school. Luckily both schools are going on the same day. And no one busts Snoopy for being a dog at the field trip.

Sally (Hilary Momberger) gets more to do in the setup–because she’s so worried about school–but kind of disappears once the field trip gets going. She’s still around, but she doesn’t have anything else to do. She gets some of the bigger moments in the vignettes.

Things go terribly wrong on the field trip–Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty end up in the supermarket, thinking it’s a pop art display. Lots of funny stuff on the field trip, plus a “Joe Cool” sequence where Snoopy works as a supermarket checker.

The finale deals with the Love in the title as well as the fallout from going to the wrong location. Linus and Lucy do go to the museum and have some nice scenes. Lots of good visuals in No Time, in the museum and supermarket. The school stuff is sublimely simple, with the field trip locations properly busy.

Good script from Schulz, good direction from Melendez. Most of the acting is good. Except Ahrens, which is too bad because Marcie’s got a rather big part and her voice is too flat and without personality. DeFaria does rather well, ditto Webber. Charlie Brown gets a decent arc in No Time, it just takes until the last third to become clear.

No Time‘s an entirely solid half hour. It gets a little long towards the end, but never gets any less entertaining as it does.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

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; aired by the Columbia Broadcasting System.

Starring Chad Webber (Charlie Brown), Christopher DeFaria (Peppermint Patty), Hilary Momberger-Powers (Sally Brown), Jimmy Ahrens (Marcie), Robin Kohn (Lucy van Pelt), Stephen Shea (Linus van Pelt), and Todd Barbee (Franklin).


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Play It Again, Charlie Brown (1971, Bill Melendez)

“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.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

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).


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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973, Bill Melendez and Phil Roman)

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” only has one great scene. The special is generally good–though the usual Peanuts logic problems–but there’s a great sequence with Snoopy and Woodstock messing around to a song from Vince Guaraldi. It’s set against the precious painted backdrops and it’s lovely.

The sequence also stands out because it’s the only original song in the special, which is otherwise a comedy of errors.

Or, actually, a comedy of missed communications. The drama of the special is Peppermint Patty has invited herself to Charlie Brown’s for Thanksgiving. So, instead of talking to her about it (or talking to his parents about it), Charlie Brown and company set up a Thanksgiving feast replete with popcorn, toast, pretzel sticks and jelly beans. Patty is disappointed. Two minutes of drama ensue.

Melendez and Roman’s direction makes it seem better than it is–it’s charming, sure. Just not particularly engaging.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Bill Melendez and Phil Roman; written by Charles M. Schulz; animated by Bob Bachman; edited by Robert T. Gillis, Chuck McCann and Rudy Zamora Jr.; music by Vince Guaraldi; produced by Melendez and Lee Mendelson; released by the Columbia Broadcasting System.

Starring Todd Barbee (Charlie Brown), Robin Kohn (Lucy van Pelt), Stephen Shea (Linus van Pelt), Hilary Momberger (Sally Brown), Christopher DeFaria (Patricia ‘Peppermint Patty’ Reichardt), Jimmy Ahrens (Marcie) and Robin Reed (Franklin).


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