Schroeder is ready to give the most fantastic school report on music ever, utilizing the same stage featured in It's Magic, Charlie Brown to teach his classmates about the rich history of American tuneage. While initially agreeing to let Snoopy help, the towheaded wunderkind had a change of heart when he remembered how performance-prone the pawed one was. It took the pleading of Charlie Brown and the hysterical tears of the wronged dog to sway Schroeder.
With a full band rocking shit (check Patty's bow in the crowd!), Schroeder is doing a great job entertaining his peers. When Lucy comes on the stage, however, he loses his crap. Almost literally. See, Lucy and the girls have a report of their own due: the heroes of America. The teacher on the scene (who sounds like a muted trumpet, to the thrill of those who were rendered apoplectic by the talking grown ups found elsewhere in the miniseries) deems that both reports shall take place onstage, with each giving equal time to the other. Lucy is beyond happy with the compromise, while Schroeder blood pressure shoots up to stroke level every time the girls are ready to present. He's so annoying.
ANIMATION: Disappointingly washed-out, without much life. Guess they thought the non-stop soundtrack could salvage it? 6
MUSIC: Well...pretty much it does. Ed Bogas and Desiree Goyette (Lou Rawls with the vocal assist!) get a 10 simply for the variety of songs on display.
"I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" - Stephen Foster
"O Susanna" - Stephen Foster
"America the Beautiful" - Katherine Lee Bates & Samuel Ward (which absolutely should be the American National Anthem)
"Stars and Stripes Forever" - John Phillip Sousa (best version not featuring Lisa Simpson on sax)
"I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" - George M. Cohan (did anyone else have to watch Yankee Doodle Dandy in Music class? That shit took forever)
"Alexander's Ragtime Band" - Irving Berlin
"Maple Leaf Rag" - Scott Joplin
"St. Louis Blues" - W.C. Handy (I'm sure hockey nut Schulz appreciated these two back-to-back)
"When The Saints Go Marching In"
"Where Have All the Flowers Gone"
"Hound Dog" (not the Elvis version; the remake is bad, but brief)
"Linus and Lucy" - Vince Guaraldi (yes; Charlie Brown says this is his favorite song. You'll never hear a more 80s version of it, for better or worse)
VOICES: Erin Chase and Curtis Anderson get 7.5's for Charlie and Schroeder. They're about as dull as the animation. The latter in particular is trying way too hard, my dude.
8's for Marie Wise as Marcie and Jason Mendelson's Pep Pat (sounding here the most boyish the character ever would). Erica Gayle's Lucy brings up the rear at 6, while top honors are shared by Hakeem Abdul-Samad's Franklin and Brittany Thornton's Sally each earning a 9. The former sounds awesomely Gary Coleman-ish.
--The banjo is almost always the coolest instrument in any band. Unless someone else is playing the contrabass sax.
--Of course, Lucy's first heroes are great American women like Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, and Amelia Earhart. To celebrate the last of those, Patty gets her Ace on. I don't know if it was intentional, but after this segment, Schroeder and the boys talk about "America the Beautiful", one of the great accomplishments by a woman ever.
--For what I believe is the only time in the history of the specials...the word "peanuts" is uttered.