A Charlie Brown Christmas, the beloved holiday movie starring the Peanuts comic strip characters, celebrated its 50th anniversary Monday.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Turns 50

A Charlie Brown Christmas first screen on CBS back in 1965, even though network executives were dubious about the quality of the special.

“They said, ‘We’ll play it once and that will be all. Good try,’ ” executive producer Lee Mendelson told Pop Matters, adding that he and director Bill Melendez “thought we had ruined Charlie Brown forever when it was done. We kind of agreed with the network. One of the animators stood up in the back of the room – he had had a couple of drinks – and he said, ‘It’s going to run for a hundred years,’ and then fell down. We all thought he was crazy, but he was more right than we were.”

On Monday night, CBS celebrated the anniversary with a special called It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown before playing the 30-minute animated movie.


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Unchanged from the movie that aired half a decade ago, A Charlie Brown Christmas opened with the often-depressed protagonist saying that he’s not happy despite the Christmas season. In fact, it’s the joy of the Christmas season that has left him feeling sad, as he believes that no one likes him, and therefore that no one wants to share the Christmas cheer with him.

In a bid to get Charlie Brown involved, Lucy makes him the director of the Christmas play, which includes Linus’ earnest explanation about what Christmas is all about that leads Charlie Brown to decorate his iconic twig of a tree.

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