STORY: Pathetic. Let's not be cute here. Deficient of any ideas worth exploring. The first thing the viewer sees is Linus gliding down the sidewalk on roller blades, and the first thing the viewer hears is fake block party music. This goes on for seven minutes until Linus hears a young girl named Mimi singing "Mio Babbino Caro." Her diaphragm is bananas. Starstruck by her skill, he invites her to his birthday party. She stops by, unfashionably late, hanging out of the back of a blue jalopy (who drove her to the Van Pelt residence anyway, the Riverdale gang?) and singing, as this is apparently all she can do. After passing along a flower and a smooch, she returns to her petalled palace. Linus is so ecstatic he begins dancing like an imbecile who needs the snot backhanded free from his nose.
Take She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown...replace Patty with Linus, ice skates with roller blades, and a heartwarming story with doltish bullshit...and you have It Was My Best Birthday Ever. 2
MUSIC: David Benoit tries his best. "Linus and Lucy" shows up, for certainly the contract called for it. I'd love to edit the "Silver Shamrock" jingle from the third Halloween movie over the excruciating skating scenes. 4
ANIMATION: Best Birthday was the first Peanuts special to use digital ink and paint, which five years later became the norm. The ignominy of Snoopy's ears alone brings a lump to my throat. The sloppy edits reek so foully of the 90s that I'm sure a red ball cap actually cut this thing together. (Kids! Hey! Watch! Peanuts! Kids!) 4
VOICES: For further proof of how much this one sucks, the producers used two kids to do four of the main characters: Steven Hartman handles Linus and Charlie Brown, while Jamie Cronic brings Lucy and Sally to life. Both are decent enough (6) but Brandon Taylor's Peppermint Patty is terrible. "Ooh, sprinkles!" You know what rhymes with "ooh"? 2.
I give Danielle Keaton a 10 as Mimi for having her considerable talents wasted.
MY FIRST BIRTHDAY, I SMASHED MY FACE INTO THE CHOCOLATE CAKE
--And my mom took pictures.
--Goddamn does this one blow chunky pudding. It insults my cognitive and cardiac intelligence.
MY THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY, I MADE FUNERAL PLANS FOR MY FATHER
--A tie over a short-sleeved shirt? What the hell is this Sipowicz-ness?
That cake falls off the table, it'll crash right through the floor. Look at the slice on the saucer, off to your right. Where was that cut from? Not that cake.
It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown never aired on television. I hardly think we need to call on the talents of Leroy Brown for this one. Undistinguished, unfocused, I am deadly serious when I inform you that this abomination sits uneasily alongside It's the Pied Piper as the two biggest disgraces to the Peanuts brand. It sucks everything a human mouth can possibly suck.