|Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bill Melendez|
Phil Roman (co-director)
|Written by||Charles M. Schulz|
by Charles M. Schulz
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$2 million|
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) is a 1980 American animated film produced by United Feature Syndicate and distributed by Paramount Pictures, directed by Bill Melendez and Phil Roman. It was the fourth full-length feature film to be based on the Peanuts comic strip, and was followed three years later by a 1983 television special, What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?, in which the gang sees memorials and places related to World Wars I and II. It also uses the same voice cast that worked on the 1977 Peanuts television special It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, the 1979 Peanuts television special You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown, and the 1980 Peanuts television special She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown. This film contains a rare occurrence where the adults appear on screen, including having their faces entirely visible, as well as speaking comprehensible lines.
This film came three years after Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown and would be the last traditionally animated Peanuts film from the Bill Melendez studio. The characters would not return to film until 2015's computer-animated The Peanuts Movie.
At Charlie Brown's school, Linus Van Pelt introduces to his class two French students, Babette and Jacques, who will be spending two weeks there in order to get accustomed to the United States. In exchange, Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Snoopy, and Woodstock head to Europe on a student exchange plan for part of their school year. At the airport, Sally tells Charlie Brown to try to do something right to represent the school. As the gang watches him, Linus, Marcie, Peppermint Patty, and Snoopy depart, Sally, PigPen, Violet, and Schroder call, "BON VOYAGE, CHARLIE BROWN!", and Lucy yells, "AND DON"T COME BACK!!!" However, Charlie Brown is not very positive about the trip because of a letter from France that arrived before his departure, which invites him to stay at a fictional French chateau, the Château du Mal Voisin (French: House of the Bad Neighbor). The letter is written in French, but Marcie, who has been studying French, translates it.
They arrive first in London, where Snoopy leaves the group temporarily to play tennis at Wimbledon, where the beagle gets in a dispute with the referee for a judgment call about the ball being in or out. He loses his temper, causing him to be banned from the grounds. When they arrive across the English Channel in France via hovercraft, they pick up a Citroën 2CV, which must be driven by Snoopy as none of the others have a drivers' licence, though Snoopy enjoys grinding the gears out of it. Upon their arrival, the four go to their respective homes. Patty and Marcie go to stay at a farm, where they meet a boy named Pierre, who immediately attracts their attention. It is obvious that Marcie and Pierre have a spark between them - obvious to everyone except Patty, who manages to convince herself that Pierre likes her. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock go to the chateau, which they find is apparently abandoned, though somebody keeps leaving food for them and making their beds after they leave for school. In reality, the chateau is owned by an unfriendly baron, and the person leaving Charlie Brown and Linus food is the baron's kindly niece, Violette Honfleur.
Eventually, Linus manages to track Violette down and demand what is going on. Violette says that although her uncle is irritable, she must remember what a U.S. Army soldier had done for her family by helping them out during World War I. Violette shows Linus a picture of the soldier, and he comments that the soldier looks like Charlie Brown and it is revealed that the soldier is actually Charlie Brown's grandfather, Silas Brown. Linus and Violette later continue to investigate further, the mystery culminating in an accidental fire in the chateau's attic, doused before too much damage occurs, thanks to Snoopy keeping it under control until the local fire department arrives to assist.
Thankful for the chateau's rescue, the baron has a change of heart and allows the gang inside, and Charlie Brown learns the truth behind the mysterious letter he received from Violette, and he, Snoopy, Linus, Patty, and Marcie leave their new friends to see more of the French countryside, and eventually return home to the United States.