You all remember Charlie Brown, right? Do you all remember Snoopy the dog? – Yeah, it’s quite a bunch to remember, the peanut kids. Sometimes, I look back on the nostalgic value behind each childhood classic, and then I ask my friends, family on what they remembered he most. Funny thing is; Charlie Brown had been slightly forgotten due to my parents not telling me that it was going to return on the Big Screen in the future. Amazing, I’d say to myself, it just makes me feel a little better about myself, why? I don’t know. But I do know this:
The Halloween Special, Charlie Brown. On Saturday, I looked through my old tapes, looking through a whole lot of childhood boxes full of so much nostalgic value. I searched and searched, looking for the specials, looking for anything I might’ve missed. And that’s when I found the comics, the origins behind Snoopy and Charlie Brown. I was quite impressed, I was more intrigued to what may be inside the boxes that are still yet to be opened. Yeah, it was a day I like to name: “Finding the story behind Snoopy and Charlie Brown.”
An hour later, I had watched several specials, a few stories written in biro ink. And then I moved onto the classics, by that time, I had found what I was craving for. The knowledge behind Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Sure, they look like kids, and Snoopy must be a dog, right? Wrong. After watching several old advertisements that I had pre-recorded in the past years. It’s amazing to find such a thing, I thanked my family for this. They had so much Charlie Brown content hidden away in the attic downstairs. It’s been passed on through generations and soon may become the biggest story to be told on the Internet. Ha, they wouldn’t have sent this to you. I know that I can, and I will.
This was it, I had the evidence with me, I had the oldest video tapes and some old records that were all labelled “Charlie Brown & Snoopy,” the title was bland, I’ll admit that. Everything else seemed in order, though, I had the CDs, the records, the movies, the specials, and some unlabelled stuff too. My mind got the better of me, and I instantly decided to go towards the unlabelled category, it was them that intrigued me. I placed one in, lucky for me, they are in mint condition, sweet. I placed the unlabelled tape into the VCR Player and soon before I could even switch it off; the static had kicked in. It was still a pretty decent video to watch, and it wasn’t too concerning. I was more concerned with what was going to come after the interrupted bugs. I sat for a few hours, I remember it so well. My knees slightly curved into my other thighs, and I just felt so sick with the fact it was winter yet again. That’s another story to tell, though.
I had waited around three hours for this video to lose its static disturbances, and soon I was interrupted by a clear visual that made me smile with glee. It was Charlie Brown and Snoopy the dog. I couldn’t believe it, this video was considered ancient to my brothers and sisters, and here I am trying to watch the ancient video whilst hoping for some new knowledge on my childhood classic characters. The video soon went into black and white, and the title screen had appeared with Charlie Brown and Snoopy sitting on a pumpkin patch. “Interesting,” I said to myself. It seemed that this was clearly going to be another Halloween Special. The classic still has me smiling today.
The title screen read: ‘Don’t Cry, Charlie Brown.’ Intrigued by the title, it raised several questions in my head, I realised that Charlie Brown had cried before, so had I, it was a weird thought with little to no meaning on why it’s so important, so I ignored it and proceeded to relax and watch on. The title screen was even more exciting when the music played, it was cheery and it sounded so nice through the old speakers. Okay, it may have sounded better on today’s speakers, but I still wasn't going to look back on that. The cheery music was cut short, the fuzzy screen had appeared, slight static running down the screen, yeah, it looked decent. I watched on as the show started; Charlie Brown sitting in a pumpkin patch with Snoopy looking a little odd. His eyes were still pure black, but in black and white, it just looked a little eerie. I didn’t think too much about it and tried to ignore the obvious problems with why that might be there. But, it wasn’t a problem to me. I watched a little further and Snoopy had started to talk. Okay? The yellow bird was nowhere to be seen.
Charlie Brown walked over to Snoopy. Snoopy holding his head down, his nose pointing towards a blurred sign in the distance. The view soon changed, and the sky looked moderate. It was a darkish grey with a smoke-like effect coming from the distant barn in the fields. The blurred sign kept my interest, whilst Charlie Brown sat beside Snoopy and the voice from Snoopy begun; “It’s not every day you see this, huh, Charlie Brown?” It sounded so weird, whilst looking so odd in the first place. Thanks to Scooby Doo’s latest videos, I could easily push this slight fault to the side of my mind. Talking dog? Talking animals? Fine by me. I decided to accept it and listen closely to what Charlie Brown was going to say back to Snoopy. He had his crying-like expression that we all grew up and loved back then. Snoopy waved at the blurry sign that was projecting a shadow underneath, I watched on and the shadow soon grew into a much larger figure.
Charlie Brown started to cry, there was no sound, nothing that could prove that he was actually crying with sadness. I went with it, and Snoopy soon spoke again; “The peanut kids don’t usually cry, Charlie Brown.” Snoopy had become a different character, it was a strange voice that had been heavily edited to hide away the man’s voice behind it. Even then, I was still shocked with how Bart Simpson turned out to be voice acted by a girl. But I digress, this was Snoopy the Dog, he hasn’t spoken before, which is why we loved him. He had this cute-like behaviour that kept him so unique and different to the characters that we could easily accept and just allow them to entertain us. The voices from the peanut kids soon hit the screen. Speaking in a low toned voice, Snoopy looks at Charlie Brown and point towards a very poorly drawn Dog Shed, it was the house that Snoopy would usually sit on top of and keep the classic essence flowing throughout the flicks.
Charlie Brown stopped crying, there were no more tears animated throughout his eyes. However, there was still the same expression; the sad face, although he looked quite happy with his strange smile overlapping the sad smiley face. I tried to accept it, but this was really strange to see. How can this be? Was there video glitches when making this special? I don’t know, I honestly don’t know. Snoopy sat down and remained still for the next ten minutes that went by. The sign soon disappeared, I never noticed it at first, thanks to Charlie Brown’s behaviour, I caught it flicker into view several times. Charlie Brown looked up at the sky, whilst Snoopy remained still on his poorly drawn dog house. The peanut kids were apparently still there, but I couldn’t see them. I wondered whether the faces overlapping was actually because they used different layers to animate each segment of the Special. A very crude laugh emitted from the speakers, it was quite a violent sound. The sound of Charlie Brown talking soon emitted too, and Snoopy still spoke when he was not moving. Weird.
“Charlie Brown, don’t cry, Charlie Brown.”
“I don’t cry, I don’t. – Do you know why they look at me with doubt?” Charlie Brown spoke to the audience.
Okay, this was getting a little too strange. There was the voices from the other characters that were not in view. Snoopy was talking like an old man at this point: “Little to nothing, it’s probably just Charlie Brown crying again, The End.”
The voice from Snoopy was the easier one to hear over the disturbances of Charlie Brown and the other characters talking over each other. The editing must've been poor at this point, then again, this whole special seems to be poorly made.
The cheery music played again, and this time a picture of Charlie Brown with what only looked to be some kind of plant growing out of his skull. There was no skull, it was just his cartoon ovular head with some strange plant that had impaled through the top his head. It didn’t move, and the tears returned to only show the faces returning on different layers moving to the same layer as Charlie Brown and Snoopy. A character that must’ve been removed for unknown reasons had shown up from the corner of the fields and just stood there in the background. The classic drawings still remained, and the poorly drawn areas were very obvious and very easy to spot. The fence in the fields stood there, whilst this strange character just stood on top of it with a very thin scribbled line in his hand.
I tried to look closer to what it may be, and it looked a little like a circular tail or some sort, it could be something else, but I just focused on the situation at hand. The distortion of Snoopy fading and then reappearing while sort of fading behind the dog house. He had a smile on his face, the smile changed to the sad face I saw earlier, and then the unknown character stood there with the cheery music echoing along with Snoopy and Charlie Brown’s voices talking over the shadow in the background and the little boy who stood there on top of an ugly-looking blurred fence. It looked a little strange, he looked down, I think, and then he just floated in the air above the field with a tall line sticking out of the ground. He moved a little, side to side, I think, it was so pixelated and poorly drawn, it difficult to say, really.
The cheery music played over the voices and the sound of something creaking with a horrifying scream that I will never forget.
“This is not the end, this is just the beginning.” Snoopy whispered.
“Charlie Brown, don’t cry.” A woman’s voice moaned.
The scream echoed for the rest of the twenty seconds to roll through. The screen faded, whilst zooming at the blurred sign in the distance. I stopped it precisely at the time just before the screen went blank. The sign was still blurry, and still lives onto be in my own opinion, the biggest memory, and the strangest mystery behind a Cartoon ever…
If you happen to search through your boxes, and you find some old videos, unlabelled or labelled, just be warned that you might find a little too much information behind your childhood classics.
Today, I work alone. I’ve been working for several years now. I’ve spent most of my life doing what I grew up to love, animation. I’m now animating the next scenes of what I like to call a Classic Special Episode. Can’t wait to finish it, I just can’t help but cry when I think of it every night that goes by. I’ll be sure to post it online, I don’t plan on releasing it on DVD, it must stay a mystery for the world to see when I’m gone and the newest childhood classic mystery is reborn for another sucker to fall for it...