Snoopy, Come Home (1972)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 3-Feb-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 81:05
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Bill Melendez
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Chad Webber
Robin Kohn
Stephen Shea
David Carey
Johanna Baer
Hilary Momberger
Chris De Faria
Linda Ercoli
Lynda Mendelson
Bill Melendez
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
Robert T. Gillis


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Italian
Italian Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Near the end of 1950, a small comic appeared with some very simply (but brilliantly) drawn characters that quite literally became a worldwide phenomenon. At the bottom right of the last panel was the scribble 'Schulz', the name of the man that created this little cartoon that took over the world.

    Over the next 50 years his characters would become instantly recognisable around the globe and became icons for a number of generations and cultures. Snoopy appeared on helmets during the Vietnam war, the Apollo 10 command module was called Charlie Brown and the lander was called Snoopy. Imagine if they were 'the ones' rather than Apollo 11 - The Snoopy Has Landed doesn't quite have the same ring about it! That icon of popular culture, the MacDonalds toy that is handed out with children's meals, only recently featured Snoopy in a variety of poses. I am not sure that the current customers of the children's meals have even seen a Charlie Brown comic strip or animated cartoon, yet Snoopy is still there and enjoyed, even if a little out of context.

    I am not even going to attempt to analyse just why Charlie Brown and his little friends are such a cultural phenomenon in a DVD review - let's just let each person have their own reasons for reading Peanuts and move on to the DVD.

    A Charlie Brown Christmas was the first TV version of Peanuts. It aired in 1965. This was followed by more TV specials and then in 1969 the first feature film was released, entitled A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Three years later, in 1972, Snoopy Come Home was released to the cinemas.

    The early seventies were a very interesting time - a subculture in the US, and to some extent the world, was just coming to a close and a decade that featured, among other things, some of the worst fashion in the history of man was beginning. The hippie subculture was a fascinating swing of the pendulum in a country that had contrasts as far apart as 'free love' and students being shot on their campus by their own military just for protesting against their own government.

    Parts of this culture had entered the mainstream and in turn had its effect on the films of the time. One of the most obvious is the use of colour swirls and so on behind the opening of this movie, something guaranteed to transport anyone who lived through this time back. That is, if they can remember just what they were watching because, as they say, if you can remember the sixties then you weren't there.

    Once we are past the credits we are immersed in the music that was used in the films and commercials of the time - the chorus of singers with a jazzy tune. There are a number of musical numbers in this film and some interesting use of music to help tell the story.

    All of our favourite characters are present and in particular the story revolves around Snoopy and, having his début in this film, Woodstock. Woodstock is a particular favourite of mine as no matter just how bad things get little Woodstock just gets up and keeps on trying. He also throws one of the most expressive tantrums in cartoon history. I suppose I am an optimist at heart and find him a great foil to poor old Charlie Brown's manic depressiveness.

    In this story Snoopy receives a letter from his previous owner. This is a bit of a shock to Charlie Brown as he thought that he was Snoopy's first owner. The letter asks Snoopy to come and visit his first owner as she is stuck in hospital. Here the story splits into two and we follow Snoopy and Woodstock as they travel to the hospital while also following Charlie Brown and his friends' reactions to Snoopy having left. In the end, Snoopy is left with a choice between his original owner and his current owner.

    While this sounds like a short synopsis there is a lot that happens in between including some interludes where our characters simply play around. There is an extended scene where Snoopy and Woodstock play American football as an example. There is a lot of material in this film and scenes will stick in your mind and reappear at the oddest moments - the section depicting the goodbye party for Snoopy is one of those moments.

    You have to remember that Peanuts was born in a four frame cartoon. It takes the genius of a cartoonist to put meaning and content into such an abbreviated format. When this is then translated into a feature length movie you end up with a lot of very dense content with even short segments having meaning. These build up over the movie as a whole to produce the final effect with many many topics having been covered, but not in a way that can be easily explained in a linear synopsis.

    The content is quite different to what we see today - the Peanuts characters are unique and the society in which they lived has changed. Would there be a scene where a beagle and a little girl get into a boxing match in a cartoon today, or a fight between Snoopy and Linus over his security blanket? I am not saying that these things are wrong or right, just different to what we see in mainstream animation these days.

    One comparison that I can't get out of my mind even though I am unsure of just how far it is valid is between the Peanuts gang and the Rugrats. I suppose that both contain children that act like adults in some ways but delightfully like children in others. In many ways we forget how to see the world as children and stories like this remind us of this.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Unfortunately the film source for this DVD is really showing its age.

    The transfer is presented at 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. I was unable to find reliable information on the original aspect ratio of this title.

    The image is a little soft, and shadow detail does not really apply to this type of animation. There is some low level noise triggered by the grain. The contrast is down somewhat and the brightness varies from scene to scene on occasion.

    The colours are badly faded. Returning to the menu with a modern colourful drawing of the Peanuts gang particularly highlights this deficiency.

    There are no MPEG artefacts visible. There is some movement in the image similar to telecine wobble but this might be source related. The film stock is in pretty bad condition with lots of grain, dirt, marks and in particular white flecks constantly swarming over the screen. There are also some other interesting source artefacts such as the brown line completely across the middle of the image for a couple of frames at 17:11. Just about the entire gamut of marks and hairs along with interlacing spoil the image at one time or another.

    There are only subtitles in Italian available.

    This is a single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are four Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtracks all running at 192Kbps; English, Spanish, German and Italian.

    Overall the mono soundtrack is a little thin but perfectly functional.

    Dialogue quality is good as is the audio sync. There is a very small amount of hiss present in the soundtrack but it is at a low level.

    The music ranges from piano to early seventies vocal thorough to light orchestral and works very well within the context of the film.

    The surrounds and subwoofer had little to do.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     Considering the sheer wealth of material surrounding the Peanuts gang the lack of extras is a little disappointing.

Menu

    A very colourful static menu presented at 1.33:1. The main Peanuts characters are present carrying Snoopy in the air with the trademark dog bowl on his head and Woodstock perched on top. There is no audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Surprisingly, there does not appear to be a Region 1 version of this DVD. There is a Region 2 version which appears identical to ours at least as far as the content is concerned. I cannot comment on the quality of their source material but it is a pretty good bet that it is the same.

Summary

    Charlie Brown's little sister resists entering the library as she does not want to learn to read - just to grow up to be a good housewife. Linus and Snoopy come to blows over Linus' security blanket. Charlie Brown is going to go crazy (again) and many other scenes set this film apart along with the rest of the Peanuts material as a fascinating and at times biting social commentary.

    The video is really let down by the source material.

    The audio is a functional mono effort.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR800
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
The Lamest Charlie Brown Movie of All Time -