It’s The Pied Piper, Charlie Brown

It’s The Pied Piper, Charlie Brown (2000)
Paramount Home Video
Extras: Charles Schulz Interview

In celebration of the late Charles Schulz’s work, Paramount Home Video has created a dedicated DVD line to release episodes of the beloved ’Peanuts.’ ’It’s The Pied Piper, Charlie Brown’ is one of the first releases in this ’Peanuts Classic’ series, the story when Charlie Brown’s town is literally overrun by mice. Dancing, skating, ball-playing, just plain obnoxious, soon the mice become unwanted guests. That’s when Snoopy comes to the rescue. The clever Beagle dresses up, grabs his accordion and turns into the Pied Piper. Playing irresistible tunes, the mice soon follow the green-hooded Beagle while he is trying to lead them out of town.

Beautifully clean, Paramount Home Video is bringing us a great version of ’It’s The Pied Piper, Charlie Brown.’ Presented in its original fullframe aspect ratio, the DVD contains a very clean and stable transfer of the 24-minute short. Without defects or blemishes, the transfer has bold colors and perfectly restores the Peanuts’ signature drawing style. Without edge-enhancement, the lines are firmly delineated without introducing any artifacts. The compression is also flawless, without any signs of compression artifacts.

The disc contains a good Dolby Stereo audio track that adequately reflects the cartoon. It has a surprisingly good frequency response with very good bass and clear high ends. You will be surprised by the body this audio track has, especially when compared to the tinny Peanuts cartoons you get to see on TV.

Combined with the 10-minute interview with Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, this DVD is a beautiful release that makes the ’Peanuts’ you see on TV look like wrinkled sandpaper versions. Although $20 seems like a lot of money for 25 minutes of entertainment – 35 minutes if you count the interview – I found that this DVD is a great release that you and your children will come to cherish, and a great tribute to the man who brought us countless years of fun and joy.