It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is a TV special based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was originally aired on the CBS network in 1974. It was released to DVD twice, first on March 4, 2003 by Paramount Home Entertainment and again on February 15, 2008 by Warner Home Video.
The special is set up in several connecting sub-plots.
While most of the Peanuts Gang is getting ready for Easter, Linus
, certain it's all a waste of time, futilely tries convincing everyone the Easter Beagle
take care of everything, but his pleas fall on deaf ears, except for Sally
who just can't bring herself to believe him after their Halloween
fiasco waiting for the
The Great Pumpkin
- Peppermint Patty and Marcie attempt to color eggs, but as it's Marcie's first time, she doesn't know how to prepare the eggs properly. (Each failed attempt is met with Patty letting out an exasperated "AUGHHHH!")
- Their first attempt fails as Marcie fries the eggs on a griddle.
- In their second attempt, Marcie tries cooking four of them in a waffle iron. Then she unsuccessfully tries to put one in a toaster. There is no dialog until she puts the rest in the oven.
- In their third and final attempt, Patty tells Marcie the eggs must be boiled. So Marcie puts them in a pot of boiling water on the stove-- by cracking them open into the water, making egg soup.
- Woodstock, waking up shivering from a chilly spring rain in his open-air bird's nest, goes to Snoopy for help, so Snoopy goes to the department store to buy Woodstock a birdhouse. At first Woodstock hates it, but he soon renovates the interior into a quintessential 1970s pad, complete with a television, artwork, a sunken bed, carpeting and even a quadrophonic stereo system. But Snoopy accidentally smashes the house to pieces when his snout gets stuck in the entry hole. So he goes back to the department store to buy another house for his feathered friend.
- Lucy, unwaveringly believing that Easter is the "gift-getting season" much to Schroeder's chagrin, decides to have her own Easter egg hunt, hiding each egg she paints to find them all on Easter morning. But right after hiding each egg, Snoopy grabs it and puts it into his own basket.
Easter morning arrives, and so does the Easter Beagle, tossing eggs to everyone including Lucy (whom he stops for to shake her hand), and even tossing one into Woodstock's new bird house bonking the poor little bird on the head, but unfortunately he runs out of eggs by the time he gets to Charlie Brown, and responds with an embarrassed smile.
It doesn't take long for Lucy to realize that the Easter Beagle gave her one of her own eggs, and 10 weeks later (the fourth weekend in June according to the 1974 calendar) Lucy is still brooding about it, so Linus suggests she go and talk about it with Snoopy. So she goes out to Snoopy's doghouse to pick a fight, but Snoopy takes the fight out of her with a disarming kiss on the cheek.
The program's rights are held by ABC Television, where it runs annually. It ran annually on ABC from 2000 up to April 11, 2006 In 2007, the network, without any explanation, did not air the program, but it returned on March 18, 2008, as filler programming against American Idol. The TV special was watched by 6.32 million viewers and received a 3.8/6 household rating & a 1.9/5 in the 18-49 rating, in fourth place behind Idol, NCIS and The Biggest Loser, and fifth place if Spanish-language Univision is counted. It was the worst performance by a Peanuts special in several years.
- When Sally asks Linus, "Are you sure? Are you certain?", you can see that a color mistake is on her shoe box.
- The song that the music boxes play (and which Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Snoopy dance to) in the second scene in the mall is a classical piece written by Johann Sebastian Bach and entitled "Menuet from the Anna Magdalena Notebook (BWV Anh. 116.)." The song was also used in "Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown".
- When Snoopy arrives to do his Easter Beagle gig, the music in the background is from the first movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. This marks a rare occasion in the Peanuts specials where Beethoven's music is heard but Schroeder is not playing it. The music played immediately before the Easter Beagle's arrival, while Sally blames Linus for ruining her Easter, is the funeral march from the second movement of the same Beethoven symphony.
- In one of the most shocking pieces of display ever, the mall department store had its Christmas display up in the middle of April. Creator Charles Schulz likely made a point with this saying that Christmas is too commercialized. One of many customer complaints is that department stores put up their decorations too early.
- Some scenes have been cut from the TV broadcast due to commercials, and are exclusive to the DVD and VHS releases are when Schroeder tells Lucy about Easter, when the gang rides the escalator in the department store two floors up and Snoopy takes it two floors down, when the gang returns to the first floor with Marcie with the new eggs and Sally with the new shoes, when Marcie and Patty return to the department store get the third dozen eggs and when Lucy complains about her Easter egg and attempts to fight Snoopy but ends up being kissed.
- The program was recorded at San Francisco's Coast Recorders in late 1973-early 1974.
- In a rare moment of continuity among the Peanuts animated specials, Sally at one point references an event that had occurred in a previous holiday special, namely Linus and her fruitlessly waiting in a pumpkin patch for the "Great Pumpkin" to appear. This event occurred in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This moment of continuity also serves to further point out the plot similarities between ...Great Pumpkin... and ...Easter Beagle..., namely Linus being derided for believing in and waiting for the arrival of an unusual holiday-themed creature that the other characters repeatedly exclaim does not exist (but once Snoopy arrives and does his Easter Beagle gig, the characters seem to believe him after all).
- It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is on the Remastered Deluxe Edition DVD from Warner Home Video.
External links ABC feature page for It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown