Warner Bros. recently released two Peanuts specials for the first time on DVD.  Happiness Is… Peanuts: Snow Days doesn’t represent the best of the Peanuts catalog, but any fan of Charlie Brown and the gang should consider adding this to their collection.

She’s A Good Skate, Charlie Brown (1980):

Winter has begun, and Peppermint Patty is determined to start training for an important skating competition. Patty is taking things so seriously that she’s waking up each morning at 4:30am, strapping on her skates, and hitting the ice. In need of help to properly prepare, Snoopy steps in as her coach and costume designer; Patty’s old friend Marcie helps out with the costume, but try as she may, Marcie can’t seem to get the costume just how Patty envisions it.  Eventually, the time comes when Patty must put her training to the test, and head to the competition. However, when disaster strikes, the only one who can help is that little, yellow bird Woodstock.

This special teaches a good lesson about how kids can crack under the pressure of competition. Here, the usually tough-as-nails Patty must practice, but when the entire hockey team hits the ice, she knows she won’t be able to convince them to let her continue. Subsequently, Patty has a bit of a meltdown when Marcie’s attempt at making her costume fails.

While She’s A Good Skate, Charlie Brown is entertaining, it’s not on par with the best of the Peanuts specials. It’s sort of fun to see Woodstock save the day. Most of the time he’s just in the background, so this gives him a chance to shine. We also get to see Snoopy go into his humorous tough guy mode as he barks and growls his orders at Patty during her training sessions and we get to see Charlie Brown deal with the fact that his dog is getting up very early in the morning whether he wants him to or not. This one’s cute, but most probably won’t watch it more than once.

The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show (1985):

The eighteenth episode of the anthology series (and the last episode of the second season), features three stories: The Play, Sweet Babboo! And Snoopy’s Story, each revolves around a different winter holiday. In The Play, Charlie Brown reflects on past Christmas experiences. Particular emphasis is placed on the previous year, when the entire gang found themselves in their own strange, Christmas plays. Sweet Babboo! finds Sally getting ready for Valentine’s Day. One guess as to who’s on her mind (hint: he plays the piano). In Snoopy’s Story, Peppermint Patty gets ready to write an essay about Snoopy that ends up winning her an award.

This is harmless fun, but nothing particularly special. It does make me hope that Warner Brothers will consider releasing the entire Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show on DVD at some point. As a lifelong peanuts fan, that would be nice to have.

Everything in this set appears in 1.33.1 fullframe, just as it should be. The quality is very good and there’s really very little to complain about. Colors look nice and bright without appearing overdone and there are only minor instances of print damage. Some mild grain is visible in some spots but that’s completely forgivable, it just looks more film like. There aren’t any problems with compression artifacts or edge enhancement to speak of.

The English language Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack is clean and clear. Dialogue is always easy to understand and there aren’t any problems with hiss or distortion. Levels are properly balanced and everything sounds fine. Optional 2.0 Mono dubs are available Dolby Digital Mono in Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese and Thai with subtitles provided in English SDH, French, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai.