|It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown|
|Created by||Charles M. Schulz|
|Written by||Charles M. Schulz|
|Directed by||Bill Melendez |
|Voices of||Brett Johnson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive||Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates|
|Running time||28 minutes|
|Production||United Feature Syndicate|
|Original release||April 16, 1984|
|Preceded by||What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?|
|Followed by||Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown|
It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown is the 27th prime-time animated musical television special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It originally aired on the CBS network on April 16, 1984.
The special is presented as an original musical which features parodies of the early 1980s breakdancing craze, MTV, the movies Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance, and Footloose, and a number of popular top 40 hit songs of the early 1980s. It has been released to DVD by Warner Home Video as a bonus feature to Snoopy's Reunion.
After seeing the film Flashdance on its initial release, Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz decided to draw a parody-tribute to what he saw with Snoopy performing as the "flashdancer", sporting the same dance clothes worn by the main character Alex (Jennifer Beals); in a November 29, 1983 comic strip that later led to the idea of turning it into an animated TV special.
It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown takes the form of a musical, presenting a series of different songs. The program does not have a strong unifying plot.
The program begins with Snoopy defeating Peppermint Patty at football, followed by an opening credits sequence in which the dog takes out a boom box and dances to the title song as the opening credits roll.
The next segment shows Peppermint Patty and Marcie at school, followed by a gym class, in which Peppermint Patty leads the other characters in a workout while she sings "I'm in Shape". The part of the song where she sings "Hey Linus...!" is clearly inspired by Toni Basil's 1982 hit song "Mickey".
The scene changes to a party at the home of Sally and Charlie Brown. The children begin playing a game of "Simon Says" before Lucy takes over the game and sings "Lucy Says". Later, the children dance to a song about "Pig-Pen", "The Pig-Pen Hoedown".
The song "Flashbeagle" is repeated two more times. Snoopy is first seen selecting outfits, finally deciding on an old T-shirt which he rips part of to form a headband and legwarmers, then heading to a discothèque with Franklin and dancing to the tune there, where the first two verses of the song are played, and Snoopy wins applause from the club-goers to the background of multicolored lights. The next morning, Snoopy is sleeping atop his doghouse exhausted from the night before, to which Charlie Brown berates him for oversleeping while others work. Sally Brown takes a groggy Snoopy to school for Show and Tell. After one boy talks about his pet chameleon, Sally is up, but Snoopy lies there motionless. However, when the owner of the chameleon plays his boom box which has the third and final verse of "Flashbeagle" Snoopy gets up and starts dancing, and all the children gradually join in.
The special ends with Charlie Brown saying to his sister that he thinks he should do something about his dog's behavior. Sally disagrees with him because, thanks to Snoopy, she got an "A" (for the first time) for Show and Tell.
Bill Melendez explained that the dancing Snoopy in the club scene was done by a process called rotoscoping where the character is drawn over live-action pictures. Marine Jahan, the stunt dancer from Flashdance, was chosen to do scenes where Snoopy was dancing in the special. The animators rotoscoped live-action pictures of Jahan to Snoopy in order to make these scenes.
Charles Schulz's 12-year-old daughter Jill was said to have inspired the "She's In Shape" sequence when Schulz drew images.
The cast of this special (except Gary Goren) would work on the second season of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.
A soundtrack was issued on Disneyland Records under the "Charlie Brown Records" banner (just like the earlier "Read-Along" records Disney issued for Peanuts) featuring songs from this special. Half of the other songs later appeared on the TV documentary called It's Your 20th Television Anniversary, Charlie Brown which aired in 1985. Songs were written by Ed Bogas and Desirée Goyette; Goyette also sings on the album, along with Joey Scarbury of "Believe It or Not" fame. It was produced by Bogas, Goyette, the special's producer Lee Mendelson, and Jymn Magon. It is also noted that Bill Meyers, best known for his work on Earth, Wind & Fire's hit "Let's Groove", did the horn arrangements on some of the songs. Track list is as follows: