It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown is the third Christmas animated production based on the comic strip Peanuts, and the second one produced as a prime-time special. It was originally released on VHS as a promotion at Shell gas stations in September 1992 before airing on CBS on November 27th of the same year.
The special is made up of several Christmas-themed vignettes, all based on storylines from the strip.
- Linus attempts to sled down a hill in a paper box.
- Charlie Brown tries to sell Christmas wreaths door-to-door, despite that it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. Sally tries to help by telling his customers the wreaths are made from trees grown in the forests of Lebanon, but this does not help.
- Peppermint Patty worries about her Christmas book report.
- Peppermint Patty and Marcie attend a performance of George Friedrich Handel's Messiah.
- Snoopy works as a street corner Santa Claus, and Lucy and Sally find it questionable.
- Woodstock and his bird friends play chamber music inside a snowman's hat.
- Charlie Brown tries to explain the true meaning of Christmas to Sally (who mistakenly thinks that it is about "getting all you can get while the getting is good") when she is writing a report for school, but she will not listen. She later starts writing a letter to Santa, but then tries writing to Mrs. Claus.
- Snoopy, Woodstock, and his friends dance with the candy canes that were on the Browns' Christmas tree.
- Sally goes to the van Pelts' house, where Linus tries to read the meaning of Christmas to her, despite her constant interruptions. She hears "The Twelve Days of Christmas" playing on the radio and asks what calling birds are supposed to be. Linus explains what they are, and also tells her about Albert Schweitzer and how he disliked Christmas presents because he "hated having to write thank-you notes".
- Charlie Brown wants to buy a nice pair of gloves for Peggy Jean, but the pair in question cost twenty-five dollars. He sells his entire comic book collection in order to buy them. But as soon as he does so, he runs into Peggy Jean at the store and finds out that her mother has just bought her a pair, so he gives the pair he bought to Snoopy instead.
- The children participate in a Christmas play, in which Peppermint Patty is forced to play a sheep to Marcie's Mary, and Sally is playing the part of an angel who supposedly has to say the line "Hark!" before "Harold Angel sings". She continually rehearses it, but ultimately ends up saying "Hockey stick!" instead when she finally goes onstage, much to Charlie Brown's embarrassment. Later, a kid named Harold Angel comes by to visit her.
- In the final scene, Lucy tells Linus to get out of the beanbag he is sitting in, but he refuses, saying that they remembered the time when they opened presents under the Christmas tree, and asking why Lucy can't be nice all the time like she was on Christmas morning. She storms off, telling him that he's driving her crazy. The special ends with him saying, "Joy to the World".
- This was notably the last new animated Peanuts special to have its televised premiere on CBS (which later premiered the tribute specials Good Grief, Charlie Brown: A Tribute to Charles Schulz and Here's to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years! when the comic strip ended in 2000). The next animated Peanuts special, You're in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown (which was also first released directly to video and sold exclusively at Shell gas stations), premiered on NBC, and the two specials that followed it (It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown and It's the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown) were released directly to video without any televised airings. Afterward, almost all the Peanuts television specials made after 2000 premiered on ABC, with the exception of the 2011 direct-to-video special Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown, which had its televised premiere on FOX.
- The original VHS release for the special mistakenly identified Peggy Jean as "the little red-haired girl" (Charlie Brown's usual unseen love interest) in the description. Further adding to the confusion, the special depicts Peggy Jean as a redhead when she is actually a brunette in the strip.
- The storylines about Charlie Brown selling wreaths and the Christmas play were previously adapted in The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show segment "The Play".
- The storyline about Charlie Brown wanting to buy gloves for Peggy Jean was adapted again in the "Christmas is on Its Way" episode of the 2014 Peanuts shorts series.
After its debut as a direct-to-video release sold exclusively at Shell gas stations, It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown was released on VHS again four years later by Paramount Home Video in 1996. Paramount later included the special on the original DVD release of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 2000. It has since accompanied A Charlie Brown Christmas on all of its subsequent releases, including the "Remastered Deluxe Edition" DVD and Blu-ray released by Warner Home Video in 2008 and the 2017 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release, as well as its iTunes, Amazon Video, and PlayStation Network digital downloads.
|Jamie E. Smith||Charlie Brown|
|Marnette Patterson||Lucy van Pelt|
|John Christian Graas||Linus van Pelt|
|Mindy Ann Martin||Sally Brown|
|Phillip Lucier||Peppermint Patty|
|Deanna Tello||Peggy Jean|
|Matthew Slowick||Harold Angel|
- Peanuts Wiki: It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown
- It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown at the Internet Movie Database
- It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Platypus Comix's review