Monday, August 26, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown

As the summer of 2013 winds down, I'm featuring a summertime family adventure for Tuesday's Overlooked Film--the 1977 animated movie Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown.

In this, the fourth theatrical film featuring Charles Schulz's Peanuts gang, the kids are off to summer camp where they face a small band of bullies in various competitions, the most grueling of which is a days-long river raft race, complete with construction zones, thunderstorms, cheating on the part of the villainous bullies, and the gang's own ineptitude. Will they overcome these obstacles to come through in the end, or will good ol' Charlie Brown let his friends down yet again?

Spoiler alert: they win.

As a lifelong Peanuts fan, this was always one of my favorite kids movies. I had a VHS copy that was worn out that I haven't had in at least twenty years. Just the other day, I was helping my wife, a schoolteacher, prepare her classroom for the new year and came across the film on a much better VHS copy she inherited from a retired teacher. Like manna from Heaven! I was thrilled to find it and share it with my kids this weekend.

You can share the film with your kids too--or just yourself!--by watching the film in its entirety on YouTube. Enjoy!

Just for gits and shiggles, here are a couple of fun images related to the film.

A photo of the original videodisc version of the film from the early 80s. Remember those?

Up next, a poster for the film created and released in Poland with original artwork based on Schulz's character design. It almost looks expressionist or something. I like it!

Finally, a poster from Japan, featuring artwork taken directly from the film, but with its own special design. Very cool!



Todd Mason said...

Not only do I remember 12-inch videodiscs, but hilariously RCA's entry into the marketplace used a stylus, like an LP or 45...the laserdiscs, somewhat unsurprisingly, tended to look and last better...thanks, Brian.

Phillyradiogeek said...

Although I certainly knew of their existence when they were first available, I never knew anyone who had them or saw one up close until my freshman year of high school (1988-1989) when one was used in a classroom. It was considered ancient technology even then.

FilmFather said...

One of my favorite films as a kid. Watched it countless times on HBO. I'm so mad that it hasn't made it to DVD or Blu yet... Maybe I should put it on my TiVo Wish List just in case it comes on TV.

I managed to burn a DVD of the VHS from our local library before they purged all their videotapes. If I had known they were going to do that, I would have bought it from them!

Read my review of Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown here.

Phillyradiogeek said...

Thanks FF, yours is a great review! I had a dubbed VHS copy as a kid in which the audio dropped out for a few seconds here and there, but I watched it over and over anyway.

Except for some of the music here and there, it's really not dated much, which makes it good for kids today.

I find it amusing to think this was out in theaters the same year as Star Wars and Saturday Night Fever :)

Phillyradiogeek said...

Out of curiosity, I looked up major film releases of 1977--wow, what a great year for movies!