STORY: Peppermint Patty's pops is outta town, leaving his only child all alone in the cavernous Reichardt homestead. Brave and brazen though she normally appears to be, young Patricia reaches out to her pal Chuck Brown, and borrows his pup Snoopy to fulfill the role of formidable guard dog. From his perch on the porch, Snoopy spies a cute li'l poodle named Genevieve. The pair begin a tsunami-esqure romance and are quickly betrothed.
Snoopy's nerves are almost shot by the time The Big Day rolls around, but the presence of his brother Spike--who rolled in, quite literally, all the way from the desert to act as "Best Beagle"--helps Snoop overcome his chilly paws. Such fortitude is for naught, however, when news arrives that the bride-to-be has left him for a golden retriever. Who are clearly the studly breed.
Based on a series of strips from 1977, with a couple key differences (Snoopy's paramour was never seen by the reader; and she actually ran off with Spike), Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown is one of the faster-paced Peanuts specials. It's a nice excuse to showcase Snoopy for a half-hour and also to introduce Spike to the television audience. 8
MUSIC: Milquetoast Munsen and the Anti-Funky Bunch. 6
ANIMATION: Aims square for the middle of the color wheel, lands there, and refuses to move. 8
VOICES: Brett Johnson's version of Charlie Brown is warm, sweet and childish in the way that these shows specialized in by having actual children in the voice-acting roles. A solid 9, with an extra half-point for his enunciation of the word beautiful.
Gini Holtzman gets an identical grade for Peppermint Patty. Always a pleasure to have some minty peanuts mingling in the bowl.
A pair of 7's to Jeremy Schoenberg and Heather Stoneman as the eldest Van Pelt kids. Daniel Colby gives voice to Schroeder, which is now as ever a non-event for me--5. Keri Houlihan, however, is a near-perfect 9.5 as Marcie. (I love it when they do my doppelganger justice!)
Lastly we have Stacy Ferguson. The future Fergie handles both Sally and Violet, but it is as the former girl that young Stacy gets to display the voice that would somehow regress completely by adulthood. Her rendition of "Oh Let Me Be the One"--with Schroeder on accompanying tinkles--is a sweet sprinkle of cinnamon indeed. But is it the greatest pre-ceremony song ever performed? No. Nothing will top this, ever. Still, have an 8 for your troubles.
LOVE: A TEMPORARY INSANITY CURABLE BY MARRIAGE
--Patty! 5! Nice to see you still on the mailing list!
--I actually believe Eudora Welty ghostwrote the Bunnie-Wunnies series of books.
--Spike is so great. Woody from Cheers would have had a dog like Spike. His correspondence with Snoopy, as read aloud by Charlie Brown, is how we learn the details of Snoopy and Genevieve's courtship.
--After Sally's serenade, Schroeder throws down some Beethoven; specifically, the ending of the first movement of Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67. Cracks my crap up completely. Dude bashes those keys like he's anticipating candy will come flying out.
--I always stitch the sky blue.
MARRIAGE IS IMMORAL WITHOUT LOVE
--There appears to be some light flirtation between Spike and Genevieve that suggests (however briefly) that the special will stay faithful to the strip, but it's possible that the mighty triumvirate of Schulz/Mendelson/Melendez didn't want casual viewers to turn off their sets with a bad first impression of their beloved beagles desert-dwelling bro.
--"I feel the pain of everyone/Then I feel nothing/'Cause I just ate an entire wedding cake."
I don't know why, precisely, Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown doesn't have a heartier cult following. The title alone should guarantee it its own goddamn Tumblr page.