A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
2000 Paramount DVD cover
Created byCharles M. Schulz
Written byCharles M. Schulz
Directed byBill Melendez
Phil Roman
Voices ofBill Melendez
Todd Barbee
Stephen Shea
Hilary Momberger
Robin Kohn
Christopher DeFaria
Jimmy Ahrens
Robin Reed
Theme music composerVince Guaraldi
Composer(s)Vince Guaraldi
Country of originUSA
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Lee Mendelson
Bill Melendez
Editor(s)Bob Gillis
Chuck McCann
Rudy Zamora, Jr.
Running time25 minutes
DistributorUnited Feature Syndicate
Original networkCBS
Original release
  • November 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)
Preceded byThere's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown
Followed byIt's a Mystery, Charlie Brown

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the tenth prime-time animated short film based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was originally aired on the CBS network on November 20, 1973, and won an Emmy Award the following year. As of 2019, the special continues to be aired every November in prime time, now on the ABC network in the United States.[1] In Canada, it has been aired on Family Channel as of 2018.[2] It was the third holiday special after A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965 and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in 1966.


The special opens with Lucy again enticing Charlie Brown to kick a football she is holding - which again ends up with Charlie Brown missing the ball and landing flat on his back once again. Later, Charlie Brown and Sally are preparing to go to their grandmother's for Thanksgiving dinner when Charlie Brown gets a phone call from Peppermint Patty, who invites herself over to Charlie Brown's house for the holiday dinner. Two quick subsequent phone calls from Peppermint Patty add Marcie and Franklin to the guest list, but since Charlie Brown cannot get a word in edgewise with Patty, he quickly finds himself in a quandary with no easy solution, at least not until Linus shows up. Linus suggests to Charlie Brown that he could have two Thanksgiving dinners, the first one for Patty and her friends and then the second one at his grandmother's house. Charlie Brown says he cannot make a Thanksgiving dinner. He says that all he knows how to make is "cold cereal and maybe toast". Regardless, Linus recruits Snoopy and Woodstock to help.

The guests arrive and make their way to the backyard for the Thanksgiving feast. Linus leads the group in prayer that details the First Thanksgiving in 1621, and then Snoopy serves up the feast which includes buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans, and an ice cream sundae. Patty's initial shock at the unconventional meal quickly turns to outrage, and when she loudly berates Charlie Brown he timidly leaves the table. Patty's tirade continues until Marcie quietly reminds her that she had invited herself along with Marcie and Franklin. Coming to her senses, Patty asks Marcie apologize to Charlie Brown on her behalf; Marcie reluctantly agrees, but Patty soon follows and apologizes to him herself. Following this, Charlie Brown is reminded that he and Sally are due at their grandmother's house for dinner, so he calls her and explains his situation. He tells his grandmother that he and his family might be an hour late. When he mentions his friends are there, and that they have not yet eaten, his grandmother invites them all to Thanksgiving dinner, which is welcomed with cheers from everyone.

After the kids leave singing, Snoopy and Woodstock go to the doghouse and cook up their own traditional Thanksgiving meal. They then pull the wishbone which Woodstock wins. Over the end credits, the two friends each devour a large piece of pumpkin pie then sit back with contented smiles as Woodstock pats his full stomach.

Broadcast history[edit]

The special first aired on CBS on November 20, 1973, and continued to air every year on that network (skipping 1982, 1983 and 1988) until November 23, 1989. The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon revived the special for reairing in the 1990s and then, in 2001, it moved, along with the rest of the Peanuts specials, to ABC. Traditionally, ABC airs the special on Thanksgiving night, although it also has aired on various days in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

As the special runs slightly over a half-hour with commercials, ABC typically fills the remaining portion of the full hour with other Peanuts programming. Since 2008, the remaining time has been filled by a slightly abridged edit of "The Mayflower Voyagers," the premiere episode of the 1988 miniseries This Is America, Charlie Brown.

The special has regularly won its time slot each year since at least 2017.[3]

It is also broadcast in Canada, usually in early October in line with Canada's observance of Thanksgiving. The special is aired on Family Channel as of 2018, with the special aired on the day before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving day, which takes place on the second Monday of October in Canada.[2]

Voice actors[edit]


  • Written and Created by: Charles M. Schulz
  • Directed by: Bill Melendez and Phil Roman
  • Produced by: Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez
  • Music Composed and Performed by: Vince Guaraldi
  • Music Supervision: John Scott Trotter
  • Vocal by: Vince Guaraldi
  • Featured Musicians: Vince Guaraldi, Seward McCain
  • Graphic Blandishment: Bernard Gruver, Evert Brown, Ed Levitt, Frank Smith, Dean Spille, Don Lusk, Bob Carlson, Sam Jaimes, Bill Littlejohn, Al Pabian, Bob Bachman, Bror Lansing, Carole Barnes, Beverly Robbins, Eleanor Warren, Faith Kovaleski, Manon Washburn, Joice Lee Marshall, Adele Lenart, Chandra Poweris, Carla Washburn, Joanne Lansing
  • Editing: Bob Gillis, Chuck McCann, Rudy Zamora
  • Recording:
    • Voices: Coast Recorders, Radio Recorders
    • Music: Wally Heider Recording
    • Mix: Producers' Sound Service
  • Camera: Dickson/Vasu, Tony Rivetti
  • Production Manager: Bob Gillis
  • Production Assistant: Judy Freudberg
  • in cooperation with United Feature Syndicate, Inc. and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, Warren Lockhart, President
  • THE END "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" © 1973 United Feature Syndicate, Inc. All Rights Reserved


The music for this special was composed by Vince Guaraldi and performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.[4]

  • "Charlie Brown Blues" (aka "Play It Again, Charlie Brown")
  • "Thanksgiving Theme"
  • "Thanksgiving Theme"
  • "Peppermint Patty"
  • "Little Birdie" (Vince Guaraldi vocal[5])
  • "Thanksgiving Interlude"
  • "Is It James or Charlie?"
  • "Linus and Lucy"
  • "Fife & Drums Theme"
  • "Is It James or Charlie?"
  • "Charlie Brown Blues" (aka "Play It Again, Charlie Brown")
  • "Thanksgiving Interlude"
  • "Over the River and Through the Wood" (a cappella, by the kids)
  • "Thanksgiving Theme"
  • "Thanksgiving Theme"


This special was released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment on September 12, 2000. It was re-released by Warner Home Video in remastered form on October 7, 2008.[6] It was released on a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack by Warner Home Video on October 5, 2010. The special was released in a 40th anniversary deluxe edition DVD by Warner Home Video with the same features from previous editions on October 1, 2013. The deluxe edition DVD also features "The Mayflower Voyagers". The special was released on Ultra HD Blu-ray on October 24, 2017.[7]


  1. ^ "The most special TV specials this holiday season".
  2. ^ a b "What would the holidays be without classic @Snoopy specials? A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving airs on @Family_Channel tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT and tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET/PT and 6:30 p.m. ET/PT. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!pic.twitter.com/3EcYlSe6CK". October 7, 2018.
  3. ^ TV Ratings Wednesday: ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ wins the night, ‘Survivor’ dips. TV by the Numbers (November 28, 2019). Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  4. ^ "Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts Song Library".
  5. ^ "'Little Birdie,' the best Thanksgiving tune".
  6. ^ "TOP 10 Best New DVD Releases of 2019 - Latest Info". Best 7 Reviews. March 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving 4K Blu-ray". Blueray.com. Retrieved 22 December 2017.

External links[edit]