7 Things You Didn’t Know About A Charlie Brown Christmas

 

Cover from the soundtrack album for A Charlie ...
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1. In 1963, television sponsor, Coca-Cola approached TV producer Lee Mendelson about doing a documentary about cartoonist Charles Schulz and his comic strip. The documentary led to a two minute film that became the first animated Peanuts characters.

2. Vince Guaraldi wrote some original music based on the piece, and that first composition became the tune called “Linus and Lucy.”

3. The Peanuts documentary films was never sold, but CBS had committed to Coca-Cola. Executives from Coke asked Mendelson if he’d create a Christmas special. Charles Shulz spent the next week creating scenes called, “School Play”, “Sad Christmas Tree”, and “Ice Skating”.

4. The Children who sing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing were from the Bay Area in California.

5. Animators had difficulty animating Charlie Brown’s head because it was round. Side to side movement didn’t look right. Many of the characters heads didn’t look right after they made the jump from comic strip to animation.  Snoopy was the easiest character to animate which why he’s in so many scenes.

6. CBS execs were not impressed when they previewed Charlie Brown Christmas. They didn’t like the voices done by real kids, there was no laugh track, it moved too slow and they didn’t like Linus reading from the Gospel of Luke. Execs were quoted as saying, “You can’t read from the Bible on television.” Ultimately, CBS had made a commitment to their sponsor and reluctantly aired the special.

Charlie Brown and Linus
Charlie Brown and Linus

7. The originally airing of Charlie Brown Christmas brought in 15.4 million viewers, placing it second in ratings behind Bonanza. Charles Schulz and Lee Mendelson won an Emmy award for Outstanding Children’s Programming.

  3 comments for “7 Things You Didn’t Know About A Charlie Brown Christmas

  1. December 19, 2009 at 1:50 AM

    I understand the biggest technical challenge was raising Pig Pen's cloud of dust in a snow storm….

  2. December 22, 2009 at 9:15 PM

    fun post – and a lot of stuff i didn't know about my favourite Christmas show!

  3. S.K. Tripure
    December 22, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    good to know about it…

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