‘Tis the season for the greatest animated special in TV history…
There was quite the uproar — and rightfully so — when ABC announced that It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas would not be shown on broadcast TV this year.
Not only are they wonderful stories — 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas especially — but they each have meaningful messages that are often lost in the din of the holidays. So it seemed particularly Grinchlike that network suits would opt to end a tradition that’s been alive for decades.
Thankfully, PBS chose to the fill void by airing the Thanksgiving special in November, with A Charlie Brown Christmas set for Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. local time/6:30 p.m. CT.
Still, the streaming services are dominating and the show becomes available today, Dec. 4, if you’re an Apple TV Plus subscriber and just can’t wait to explore Charlie Brown’s existential angst, Linus’ preternatural wisdom, Snoopy’s shenanigans, the dance scene to end all dance scenes, or the doleful, soulful tunes of the Vince Guaraldi Trio. (I have the soundtrack on heavy rotation these days.)
And if you’re not a subscriber, that’s OK: The cartoon will be available for free on Apple TV Plus from Dec. 11 through Dec. 13.
In any event, one of the best parts about A Charlie Brown Christmas is its surprisingly fraught backstory — which is included in Mark Voger’s wonderful new Christmas pop-culture book Holly Jolly, available now from TwoMorrows.
For a SNEAK PEEK at the book, including its full table of contents, click here. (You’ll be glad you did.)
But for an EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT that traces the history of the one Christmas show I can never miss, read on:
Holly Jolly is a 192-page, lushly illustrated hardcover available at comics shops and booksellers. But you can also order it directly from TwoMorrows. (Click here.) It lists for $43.95; you can also get a bundle including Mark Voger’s Groovy and Monster Mash.
— CHRISTMAS IS COMING: Get Ready for a HOLLY JOLLY Time. Click here.
— TV SEASON’S GREETINGS: Animation Holiday Cards From Christmas Past. Click here.