The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

What is the best Christmas movie?

Ever since its release in 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has been the best Christmas movie on air. There’s just so much to love about the special. Everything in it, from its familiar characters to its uplifting story and message, serves to put you in the spirit and make you feel good. 

Let’s start with the plot. For the 1960s, the film’s view on commercialism is downright prophetic. Charlie Brown is fed up with his friends and their selfishness: 12-year-old Lucy wants expensive real estate, his little sister Sally’s Christmas list is exceedingly long and materialistic, and even his dog Snoopy is entering a decorating competition with a cash prize. Everywhere he looks, he sees aluminum Christmas trees and advertisements for flashy gifts. (If you didn’t think it could get any worse, remember that Apple bought the rights to this special and pulled it off public television to get more people to subscribe to their streaming service, Apple TV+. The audacity!)  

This commercialism, on top of his typical seasonal depression, leaves Charlie Brown questioning the Christmas season altogether. When he is assigned to direct the Christmas play and steps out to find a tree, he stumbles upon a sickly little sapling sitting among the glitzy metal giants in the lot. While the other kids are disappointed and ridicule him for his choice, a speech from his best friend Linus and a little care for the tree inspires him to look past the commercialism for the real spirit of the season: it’s a time of love and hope, as evidenced in Linus’ recitation of the Bible (Luke 2:8-14).  

While not all who celebrate Christmas believe in the events of the Bible, Linus’ message can still touch hearts. He offers “great joy, which shall be to all people,” and “peace, goodwill toward men.” Regardless of the source of the quote, Linus spreads the message, not just to Charlie Brown but also to viewers at home, that Christmas is not about fancy trees or shiny presents. It’s about joy, peace and goodwill toward men. This, in combination with the transformation of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree into a beautiful symbol of friendship, solidifies the message of the special. It makes “A Charlie Brown Christmas” the most touching, feel-good Christmas movie of all time. 

Story continues below advertisement

Besides the story, the production of the piece makes it the most nostalgic and lighthearted Christmas film. The animation is simple and familiar, the colors are bright, and the movements are eye-catching and fun, such as the dance scene in the auditorium. 

Not only that, but the music is perfect. The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s simple combination of string bass, drums and piano serves as a beautiful backdrop to the action of the special. The soft, jazzy tunes accompany every scene and put you in the holiday mood. The music is so good that “Linus and Lucy” gets airtime on Christmas radio stations, and it’s not even a Christmas song! It serves as the Peanuts theme in most of their specials.  

Another complement to the special is the voice acting. The “Peanuts” specials were notable for having children voice the characters at a time when it was rare to do so. The performances really sell the sometimes-bratty nature of real children and make the drama more profound. My heart aches for Charlie Brown when I hear a small boy complain about feeling depressed because no one likes him. The overall presentation put together under director Bill Melendez creates a definitive Christmas feeling that no other film can match. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Register
$975
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Omaha Central High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Brayden Simpson, Staff Writer
My name is Brayden Simpson. I'm a senior, and this is my first year on staff. A fun fact about me is that I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Donate to The Register
$975
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Register Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *