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BON VOYAGE, CHARLIE BROWN (AND DON’T COME BACK!!)

  

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015

Surprisingly, “Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and don’t come back!!)” (1980), the fourth film in the ongoing “Peanuts” big-screen franchise, has never been on DVD. Which is a shame since it is a charming entry among the cartoon adaptations of Charles Schultz’s beloved comic strip. But it’s on DVD now, it’s been remastered and it looks great. So here’s my review, which ran in the Deseret News on May 30, 1980. (And little did I know how prescient my last line would be, since, some 35 years later, the franchise is still vibrant, with a new “Peanuts” movie is about to be released on Nov. 6.)

Lucy, who is one of my favorite laugh-getters from the “Peanuts” gang, has only a walk-on in the latest full-length animated feature from the Charles Schulz factory.

As the entire crew goes to the airport to wish Charlie Brown and a couple of others farewell, Lucy joins the throng as they yell, “Bon voyage, Charlie Brown.” Then she adds, “And don’t come back!”

That, of course, makes up the title of this new movie — but we know he will come back, and we’re glad of it.

  

Snoopy drives the 'Peanuts' gang in 'Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown ... '

And “Bon Voyage,” etc., is every bit as charming as the previous three features and all the TV specials that have periodically made us laugh and sigh.

In this outing, Charlie Brown and Linus are selected by their school to be exchange students in France. Coincidentally, so are Peppermint Patty and Marcie, from their school.

Naturally, they are going to be in the same small French school and, naturally, Patty is going to drive Charlie Brown to distraction.

Along for the ride are Snoopy and Woodstock, and a good deal of the laughs, as usual, belong to them.

It’s all formula, and I don’t want to give any of it away, but I might warn any parents whose children are ultra-sensitive that this one is a bit more frightening than any of the “Peanuts” features thus far.

There is a burning home toward the end and a number of spooky sequences as Charlie Brown and Linus encounter a mysterious chateau.

  

But it’s all resolved well — and it shouldn’t inhibit your going, with or without the young ones.

It’s nice to know that some things stay the same in this world of change, and that Charlie Brown will bumble along through life and still steal your heart is one of the surest.

Thank you, Mr. Schulz.