Friday, July 31, 2009

Snoopy, Come Home

I had forgotten how good this is -- in large part due to the songs, which were created by the Sherman Brothers -- I guess it isn't surprising that the same guys who wrote "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" would write "Fundamental Friendapendability". Not to mention "No Dogs Allowed!" with the inimitable Thurl Ravenscroft. This also has some of the saddest scenes of any kids movie: Lila in tears at the start, and Charlie Brown's haunting song near the end, "It Changes". I had never noticed before that in the carnival scene, the carnival music is the melody from that same song. As a song, its very powerful, but with the visuals of Charlie Brown roaming his house and yard at 3 in he morning, it's overwhelming. And in the middle of the song, he has that angry spoken word part: "Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like, and just stay together forever? Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. And then we have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes." Back when I was with imagineering, Peggy Van Pelt (I miss you so much, Peggy!) would set up these wonderful guest lecturers. One night it was Richard Sherman, who played the piano, and talked about this history of many of their songs. He sang the original version of "Let's Go Fly A Kite", which was not merry at all, but very much a wistful, sad song, which the brothers wrote as a tribute to their father. That haunted tone in Richard's voice as he sang it that night is very much the same tone as "It Changes," and I have to wonder if they were thinking about their Dad when they put this song together, as well.

I worry sometimes that kids don't get a chance to get exposed to entertainment that contains real emotions in it, anymore -- so many things are sarcastic and phony. I'm so glad that things like this are preserved, to pass down. We need you, Charlie Brown!

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