Review: ‘You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown’

Exec producer, Mendelson; producer-director, Melendez; writer, Schulz; camera, Nick Vasu; editors, Chuck McCann, Warren Taylor; music, David Benoit, Vince Guaraldi.

Exec producer, Mendelson; producer-director, Melendez; writer, Schulz; camera, Nick Vasu; editors, Chuck McCann, Warren Taylor; music, David Benoit, Vince Guaraldi.

Voices: Jimmy Guardino, John Christian Graas, Molly Dunham, Haley Peel, Nicole Fisher, Crystal Kuns, Steve Stoliar, Bill Melendez.

After 28 years, Charlie Brown and the animated “Peanuts” crew are giving another network a try, but there’s no need for CBS to feel abandoned. “You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown” provides a little fun and amusement, but the ratings on NBC’s beleaguered Tuesday schedule will likely be microscopic.

The half-hour is being offered as a videocassette premium at Shell gas stations, and on that level (and as a promotion for the NFL’s punt, pass and kick moppet competition), it hits the mark.

As a network TV special, though, it’s a bit thin, especially when the Snoopy-coached bird team takes to the gridiron to battle various bestial opponents. Steve Stoliar’s sometimes witty narration isn’t enough to carry overlong scenes padded by copious repetition; even the youngest viewers will find their patience tested.

Other segments, featuring the regular cast in a punt, pass and kick contest, fare better. The competition is entertaining and a couple of amusing twists await unwary viewers.

Director Bill Melendez elicits delightful work out of the kid voices, as always, though some sequences drag. Artwork and animation are par for these spex. David Benoit’s updated arrangements of Vince Guaraldi’s “Peanuts” music are generally lively and sharp.

You're in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown

(Tues. (18), 8-8:30 p.m., NBC)

Production

Filmed by Lee Mendelson-Bill Melendez Prods. in association with Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates and United Media Prods. Animated by Wang Film Prods. Co. Ltd. and Cuckoo's Nest Studio, Taipei, Taiwan.
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