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She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown

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Shes a good skate charlie brown-show-1-
Directed by: Phil Roman
Written by: Charles M. Schulz
Release date: February 25, 1980
Running time: 30 minutes
Preceded by: You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown
Followed by: Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown
Availability: Peanuts Specials Vol. 1 iTunes, Happiness Is Peanuts: Snow Days DVD

She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown is the nineteenth animated television special based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. The special first aired on CBS on February 25, 1980 and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy award. A notable difference from previous Peanuts TV specials is that the voices of adults, including teachers, are heard as comprehensible English instead of the "wah wah" trombone sound. Subsequent animated specials would return to using that sound instead of adult voices.

Schulz's daughter Amy Schulz has a small role in She's a Good skate, Charlie Brown as the voice of one of the skaters in the competition.

Plot

The special opens with Peppermint Patty practicing ice skating on a frozen pond while her coach Snoopy watches and makes grumbling noises to show his dissatisfaction with her progress. Peppermint Patty is dedicated to her skating practice, at one point she and Snoopy chase away a group of boys who want her to get off the ice so that they can play ice hockey. However, Peppermint Patty's dedication means that she has to get up at 4:30am to practice and, as a result, keeps falling asleep in class.

While visiting Marcie's house, Peppermint Patty notices a sewing machine. In spite of the fact that Marcie tells her that it is her mother's sewing machine and that she does not know how to use it, Peppermint Patty insists that she makes a dress for her to wear at the upcoming ice skating competition. Marcie makes a terrible dress without any sleeves that looks more like a poncho. Fortunately, Snoopy comes along, passes the dress through the sewing machine and transforms it into a beautiful creation.

On the day of the ice skating competition, all of the competitors practice together at first. The skaters leave the ice and Snoopy clears it by driving a Zamboni, something that the children in the audience enjoying watching very much.

WoodstockAssobiaMioBabbinoCaro

Woodstock whistles when the cassette player malfunctions.

The first two skaters do very badly but the third does well and the pressure is on Peppermint Patty to outdo her. Unfortunately, as Peppermint Patty takes to the ice, the cassette of the music that she is to dance to malfunctions and the tape unravels out of the machine. Snoopy, who is also in charge of playing the music for competitors, tries to fix it. Meanwhile, Peppermint Patty is forced to hold her opening pose longer than she expected and becomes uncomfortable. However, Peppermint Patty is saved when Woodstock steps up to the microphone and whistles the music for the girl to skate to. Peppermint Patty wins the competition.

As Peppermint Patty and Snoopy walk home, Snoopy returns to being the displeased grumbling coach. Peppermint Patty asks if he can say anything nice, which he responds to by kissing her on the cheek.

Voice cast

Notes

  • An addendum to the film is the concluding animation associated with the credits. In clear line, an older ice skater dances in an animation composed of stopped frames. While graceful and elegant, the character does have a large nose. She is therefore an older form of Peppermint Patty, who became very very good at ice skating, and beautiful despite her supposed impediment.
  • This is the first Peanuts special in which the adults actually speak words rather then be represented with the plunger-muted trombone sounds.
  • Woodstock whistles Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" in the skating competition.

Origins

This special is mainly based off of a storyline originally published in November and December 1974, which was the longest storyline in Peanuts history, lasting about six weeks. The strip has other sub-plots that were left out of the special, and changes were made to the storyline by the time it went to the small screen.

Pe741118

Strip from November 18, 1974.

In the strip, after the disaster with Peppermint Patty's skating dress, Marcie's mother steps in to make the alterations, rather than Snoopy as in the TV special.

After Peppermint Patty gets her dress she wants to do something about her self-described "mousy-blah" hair and decides to go to Charlie Brown's father's barber shop. Charlie Brown forgets to tell his father she is a girl and Peppermint Patty tells Mr. Brown that she could strike him out in three pitches, so he gives her a boy's haircut, much to her despair. To cover up the mistake, Peppermint Patty wears an afro wig several sizes too big. This scene is altered in the special, with the wig a gift offered by Snoopy and promptly refused.

Peppermint Patty arrives at the competition and only at that point finds out that it is for roller skating, not ice skating, but not before she gets into trouble for inadvertently damaging the rink floor with her ice skate blades. Peppermint Patty returns from the competition realizing she still owes Snoopy for her lessons. Having no money, she gives him her wig as payment.

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