Just got done watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, which for my money is the best of all of the holiday specials that the networks trot out around this time of year. Granted, I may be a little bit biased since I watched this thing every year when I was little and also owned a beagle growing up, but to me the reason it’s aged so well is because of what a fantastic character Charlie Brown is. He’s just so miserable. He’s almost like an 8-year-old version of George Costanza — complete with the baldness. (Seriously, can someone please explain to me why all of these school children appear to be losing their hair? I mean, I guess I understand Pigpen, but what kind of stress is Linus under? And what’s Schroeder’s secret?) How could I have missed this when I was growing up? I mean, I knew he was supposed to be a loser, but the similarities are pretty uncanny.
Anyway, the greatness of Charlie Brown is at the forefront of the fantastic movie where he fails miserably at (off the top of my head) knocking a tin can off of a fence (everyone misses the can by a good ten feet before Linus takes care of business), directing a Christmas play (everyone ignores his instructions), picking a Christmas tree that is up to the lofty standards of the performers in said play (exhibited in an artistic scene where several of his mates rip into him, presumably while each stand in front of a different colored wall, culminating in an exasperated Charlie shouting “RATS!”) and then taking the rejected tree home and turning it into a symbol of Christmas that anyone would be proud of. (Nope. He puts one ornament on it, kills it, then declares “I’ve killed it!” and dejectedly walks away. Awesome.)
In the background, there are some fine performances from the other characters, who constantly remind Charlie Brown what a failure he is. Including, of course, his dog.
But the real highlight for me in watching it this year was checking out the dance moves of the Peanuts crew. The one that had always stuck out to me was the apparent twins busting out the ol’ sideways whiplash move while Snoopy rocks out on a guitar in the foreground. Sadly, this means that for years that I’ve overlooked my new favorite move of all time (with apologies to the Ashlee Simpson hoedown, which was one of the best birthday presents I ever received — I even tried using it as a flag football TD celebration), the sleepwalker. I almost immediately went to YouTube to see if there was a video of it up. In so doing, I think I managed to find something even better:
My favorite moment has to be the look on Chuck’s face around the 1:45 point. Obviously, the sleepwalker’s right up there too.
And if you’re a Scrubs fan, you might appreciate this: