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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Peanuts: Snoopy, Come Home (Blu-ray)
Peanuts: Snoopy, Come Home (Blu-ray)
Paramount // G // September 6, 2016 // Region A
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Randy Miller III | posted September 6, 2016 | E-mail the Author

Released smack in the middle of Peanuts' most prolific era---and three years after the franchise's warmly received big-screen debut, A Boy Named Charlie Brown---Snoopy, Come Home (1972) continued the feature-length adventures of Charlie Brown and company. Undoubtedly a shade darker and more sentimental than its predecessor, it's an adventure tailor-made to tug at the heartstrings of self-respecting pet owners and underdogs alike. It's also got a more focused story than A Boy Named Charlie Brown, albeit one told from a different perspective.

After a lazy summer afternoon, disappointment dampens the spirits of our beloved beagle---not to mention a series of No Dogs Alloooowed signs, which rightfully put ol' Snoopy in a foul mood. Run-ins with Linus, Lucy, and even Charlie Brown turn unusually ugly...so after he receives a strange letter from a young girl in the hospital, Snoopy decides to pack his bags and go visit her. With his new buddy Woodstock in tow (who, along with Franklin, makes his first animated appearance here), he sets out to cheer the mystery girl up. From start to finish, Snoopy, Come Home is obviously Peanuts' first real stab at a character study for the WWI Flying Ace: among other highlights, we hear about "the early days"…not to mention what Snoopy's absence does to Charlie Brown and the gang.

While its strengths are easy enough to spot, the rough patches found during Snoopy, Come Home are just as evident. Like A Boy Named Charlie Brown, it's an unquestionably padded affair, and one that would feel much more at home within the confines of a 30-60 minute TV special (although, unlike its predecessor, it at least doesn't take quite as long to get going). Don't get me wrong: most of these events build nicely to the film's satisfying conclusion, but obvious comic-strip "skits" and side-stories like Snoopy getting adopted by Crazy Clara---and even a few of the musical breaks, although they're more than capably written by the prolific Sherman Brothers---don't really add much to the actual story. For this reason, Snoopy, Come Home isn't quite as effective as some of the streamlined TV specials (holiday-themed and otherwise) or even the best of the big-screen adventures, but it's nonetheless a memorable little slice of animated history that has flown relatively under the radar in the last few decades. It's also got the distinction of being the only Peanuts production without a Vince Guaraldi score during his lifetime.

Released alongside A Boy Named Charlie Brown (with Race For Your Life and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown hopefully on the horizon), Paramount's Blu-ray of Snoopy, Come Home follows their own previous DVD releases. Despite the obviou$ lack of an immediate double-feature or complete collection (like the DVDs got, eventually), there's some good news here: we get an improved 1080p transfer, an open-matte aspect ratio, and better audio...but no extras.

Video & Audio Quality

Unlike the previous DVD releases, Snoopy, Come Home is presented in open-matte 1.33:1 on this new 1080p transfer, with the resulting picture looking considerably different than its 480p counterpart. I much prefer this framing; there's a lot more headroom (even if some of it is just dead space, as it was no doubt created for "safe" theatrical matting), giving the outdoor scenes a much more open and natural feeling. The only "sore thumb" is the film's opening and closing credits: they're now boxed in on all four sides, which is a little jarring the first time around. Of course, the lack of zooming in this open-matte presentation obviously increases overall image detail, no doubt amplified by the increased resolution of Blu-ray and better encoding. Overall, Snoopy, Come Home looks quite good in 1080p, so fans will be happy to have both a stronger presentation and dramatically different framing.


DISCLAIMER: The promotional stills and captures featured on this page are decorative and do not represent the disc under review.

There's a slight bonus here: whereas the DVD only offered a flat Dolby Digital 2.0 track, this Blu-ray also serves up a full DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio option. But don't get your hopes up too high, as both options yield relatively flat and front-loaded results by design: Peanuts has always been a relatively lo-fi franchise in the audio department, and die-hard fans wouldn't have it any other way. Although some of the music by Don Ralke, Oliver Wallace, and the Sherman Brothers sounds wider and more dynamic on the surround track, you can expect the same general atmosphere on both options. Dialogue is clear with minimal defects, although the high end can't help but sound a little thin and distorted at times. Also unlike the DVD, optional English subtitles are included---definitely a plus.

Menu Design & Packaging

The new comic-styled menus load quickly and are easy to navigate, with minimal options and a uniform appearance. This one-disc release is packaged in a red keepcase with clean, Schulz-drawn artwork and a matching slipcover; as a whole, it's virtually identical to the re-issued Paramount DVDs that fans should be familiar with.

As a curious but entertaining sidestep to 1969's A Boy Named Charlie Brown, sophomore Peanuts film Snoopy, Come Home is another stab at big-screen adventure from a small-screen franchise. The result is another padded and overlong film (a little less obvious this time around), but a few key differences here---composers and the character perspective, just for starters---at least present fans with something a little different this time around. Paramount's long-overdue Blu-ray package is more than a little frustrating, however: the much-improved visuals and aspect ratio are certainly welcome, but this barebones disc feels like a cheap cash grab that will obviously lead to an inevitable four-pack like the existing DVDs. Recommended for die-hard Peanuts fans; others should rent it.


Randy Miller III is an affable office monkey by day and film reviewer by night. He also does freelance design work, teaches art classes and runs a website or two. In his limited free time, Randy also enjoys slacking off, juggling HD DVDs, and writing in third person.
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