|Directed by:||Bill Melendez, Phil Roman|
|Written by:||Charles M. Schulz|
|Release date:||May 30, 1980|
|Running time:||77 minutes|
|Preceded by:||Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown|
|Followed by:||Peanuts (to be released in 2015)|
|Availability:||Released on VHS in 1995. Not yet released on DVD or Blu-ray.|
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!) is a 1980 animated film produced by United Feature Syndicate for Paramount Pictures, directed by Bill Melendez. It was the fourth full-length feature film to be based on Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts comic strip and the last one to be released to date.
A sequel to the movie followed three years later, in the form of a 1983 television special What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? in which the gang visit memorials and places related to World War I and World War II.
As part of an exchange program, two French students, Babette and Jacques, are spending two weeks at Charlie Brown's school, while Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and Marcie go to France. At the airport, the children, Snoopy and Woodstock are seen off by their friends. Lucy, who is not invited, tells Charlie Brown not to come back.
During the flight, Charlie Brown produces a letter he received that was written in French. Marcie, who has been studying French, translates it and says it is an invitation from a young girl, Violette Honfleur to stay at the Chateau du Mal Voisin (The Castle of the Bad Neighbor). Peppermint Patty asks who this Violette could be, Charlie Brown has no idea.
The group first arrive in London and go on a sightseeing tour downtown, while Snoopy and Woodstock play some tennis at Wimbledon. When Snoopy finds himself losing, he lashes out and gets thrown off the court. Snoopy and Woodstock head to the Victoria Railway Station and rejoin the rest of the group. They eventually arrive in France and drive to a farmhouse where Peppermint Patty and Marcie will be staying with Pierre. While Marcie seems to adjust quite well, Peppermint Patty experinces significant culture shock.
When Charlie Brown and Linus arrive at the Chateau, a thunderstorm forces them to spend the night in an empty stable. Later that night, Snoopy (in his "World War I Flying Ace" persona) and Woodstock head down to local pub to drink a few pints of root beer.
The next morning, Charlie Brown and Linus find that breakfast and warm blankets have been set up for them by some unknown benefactor. When the gang meets each other at school, Charlie Brown produces the letter from Violette. Pierre says that Violette is a niece of the baron who owns the chateau. Pierre says the baron is a vile recluse who hates everybody, especially foreigners.
That night, the baron leaves the chateau to go to the pub and instructs Violette not to let Charlie Brown and Linus in. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown and Linus take turns to stand and watch to identify the mysterious benefactor. During Charlie Brown's watch, Linus wakes up to see Charlie Brown has fallen asleep. Linus then goes out to investigate into the chateau. Eventually, he finds Violette, who says her invitation was a mistake. Violette explains that her grandmother had told her the story of a wartime affair that she had with Silas Brown, Charlie Brown's grandfather, who was an infantryman stationed in France during World War I, and stayed at the chateau. When Silas received his marching orders, he promised to write letters which eventually stopped coming. Violette's grandmother moved on, though she never forgot him.
Meanwhile at the pub, Snoopy and Woodstock are playing foosball and overhear the baron confide to the bartender that he knows about Charlie Brown and Linus and has tolerated them long enough. The baron returns home to Violette's surprise, and in her rush to get Linus out of the room, Violette accidentally knocks over a candle which causes a fire throughout the chateau. Linus takes Violette towards a pair of casement windows, throws them open and shouts to Charlie Brown for help. Charlie Brown wakes up and runs to the pub to call Snoopy and Woodstock. Snoopy and Woodstock rush off to the Chateau and Charlie Brown continues running to the farmhouse to call Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Pierre. Pierre calls the fire department while Peppermint Patty and Marcie follow Charlie Brown to the flaming chateau.
When Snoopy and Woodstock arrive at the chateau, it is engulfed in flames. Snoopy immediately heads to a shed and brings out an old fashioned fire hose, while Linus throws his blanket down to Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Pierre, which they use to catch Violette when she jumps out the window. Snoopy arrives with a barrel of water under Linus who also jumps to safety, and later barks out instructions to work the hose, but the intense water pressure spins him around, splashing Charlie Brown. Woodstock pops out from the hose with a violin and begins playing along to the dramatic scene. While Snoopy is working with the hose, a fire truck with three shadowed fire fighters arrives and the fire is finally extinguished.
The baron, who is thankful that the group saved Linus, Violette and the chateau, promises he will never be inhospitable again. Charlie Brown learns the whole truth behind the mysterious letter he received. Many years ago, an American friend of Violette's family stopped in a small French village to have his hair cut, and the barber was Charlie Brown's father. Violette finds out about Charlie Brown and writes a letter inviting him to stay. As the group prepares to leave the chateau to return to America, Violette gives Silas' satchel to Charlie Brown. The film ends when the group say their goodbyes and gets into their beat-up rental car.
- Arrin Skelley - Charlie Brown
- Annalisa Bortolin - Sally Brown
- Daniel Anderson - Linus van Pelt
- Patricia Patts - Peppermint Patty
- Casey Carlson - Marcie
- Pascal de Barolet - Pierre
- Roseline Rubens - Violette/Patty/Sophie/Frieda/Violet
- Laura Planting - Lucy van Pelt
- Bill Melendez - Snoopy/Woodstock
- Scott Beach - Additional voices
- Lucy has only one line in the whole movie. Schroeder, Sally, "Pig-Pen" and Violet say, "Bon voyage, Charlie Brown!" and Lucy adds, "And don't come back!!!" After this scene, none of the characters listed above appear for the remainder of the movie.
- This is a rare time an adult is seen on screen. The teacher at the school in France is seen on screen, and is bilingual. She speaks in clear English as opposed to the infamous "wah wah wah" trombone effects.
- The theme music for the film which is romantic for the most part but gets darker when Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy and Woodstock must explore the supposedly abandoned chateau is a variation of the James Bond theme.
- The songs that are heard when Snoopy and Woodstock first visit the cafe are "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Sentimental Journey".
- After Linus introduces Babette and Jacques, the French students who will be studying in the United States while Charlie Brown and Linus go to France, the entire class goes up to welcome them. Peppermint Patty can be seen in the gaggle of children. Later on, she calls Charlie Brown to say that she is going with him to France as part of a joint effort with her school, implying that she and Marcie go to another school crosstown like in the comic strip.
- At the airport, when Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Snoopy walk to the security detector, Marcie is replaced by Lucy.
- Somehow, the car is still running when a piece of the new bread Charlie Brown bought is in the engine.
- When Linus says, "Wow look at the time were going to be late for our first day of school". A watch appears on his wrist then a few seconds later his watch disappears.
- When Charlie Brown sneezes while holding the broken bread, he throws the bread into the air but the pieces of the bread do not fall back down.