A Charlie Brown Christmas
Studio: Bill Melendez Productions Release Date : December 9, 1965 Series: Peanuts
Cumulative rating:
(6 ratings submitted)

Associated Studio(s)

United Feature Syndicate


Charlie Brown is depressed because Christmas has gotten too commercial. He's given the chance to get into the spirit by directing the Christmas play, but it's up to Linus to show him the true spirit of Christmas.


Charlie Brown
(Voice: Peter Robbins)
Linus Van Pelt
(Voice: Christopher "Chris" Shea)
Lucy Van Pelt
(Voice: Tracy Stratford)
Sally Brown
(Voice: Kathy Steinberg)
(Voice: Jose Cuauhtemoc "Bill" Melendez)
(Voice: Geoffrey Ornstein)
(Voice: Ann Altieri)
(Voice: Chris Doran)
(Voice: Chris Doran)
(Voice: Sally Dryer)
(Voice: Karen Mendelson)

Music Sources

Anschütz, Ernest : "O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) "
van Beethoven, Ludwig : "Für Elise "
Wesley, Charles : "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing "
Guaraldi, Vince & Lee Mendelson : "Christmas Time is Here "
Guaraldi, Vince : "Linus and Lucy "
Guaraldi, Vince : "Skating "
Pierpoint, James Lord : "One Horse Open Sleigh (Jingle Bells) "


Won the 1965 Emmy Award: Outstanding Children's Program



Cut Scenes

  • In its original 1965 airing, the special was funded and sponsored by Coca-Cola. Subsequent airings would remove all mentions of Coca-Cola.


  • The first Peanuts special.


  • Lee Mendelson states in an interview that on one of their first meetings, Mendelson told Charles Schulz that they would have to add a laugh track to the special. Schulz said, "I quit!", and walked out of the room. It was decided from that point that no laugh track would be put into the cartoon.
  • The heads at CBS at this time were so disgusted at the special that they almost refused to air the cartoon saying it was too slow and way too religious. When it aired, it gained a 45% viewer shared across the country and maintained lavish reviews. The CBS head called Mendelson to buy five more specials, but used the justification that his aunt didn't like it to continue his negative opinion towards the cartoon.


United States

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Laserdisc (CAV)

United States

A Charlie Brown Christmas


United States

A Charlie Brown Christmas (Remastered Deluxe Edition)
Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Edition
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Peanuts 1960's Collection
Peanuts Deluxe Collection
Peanuts Classic Complete Holiday Collection

United Kingdom

Peanuts 1960's Collection

BluRay Disc

United States

Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Edition
A Charlie Brown Christmas

4K Ultra HD

United States

Peanuts Holiday Collection
A Charlie Brown Christmas

Technical Specifications

Running Time: 25:25
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 4 : 3 (Television)
Color Type: Color
Sound Type: Mono
Print Type: 35mm
Negative Type: 35mm
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Original Language: English
Original Country: United States

Reviews and Comments

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From TibbyH :

It should run forever.
See all comments by TibbyH

From eutychus :

I am old enough to remember when this was first broadcast, Coca Cola commercials and all. Since then, there has not been a year gone by when it hasn't been a part of my Christmas celebration. The producers took a major gamble making this, not only with having Linus taking two minutes to tell the Christmas story straight out of the Bible, but in wondering if the beloved Peanuts characters could successfully make the transition from the comic pages to the TV screen. One of the ways they stayed true to the characters was to have actual children voice the characters instead of using adults trying to mimic the kids voices. (In some cases, the dialogue had to be recorded a few short phrases at a time and then edited together!)

Happily, it worked, and it opened the door to a whole series of prime-time Peanuts specials. But for my money, none of them worked as well as the first. It has become a perennial and almost universal Christmas classic, which still holds up as well as it did when I first saw it when I was ten years old.

See all comments by eutychus