When America's most beloved beagle suddenly goes missing, the whole Peanuts gang bands together to bring him back home. With "Dogs Not Allowed" signs everywhere he turns, Snoopy and his newfound feathered friend Woodstock (making his big screen debut) leave the comforts of home behind and head for the highways in search of their true place in the world. Camping out, eating up and just living the life of the open road, the intrepid twosome make their way across the country, dodging possessive pet-collectors, less-than-hospitable hospital workers, and bullying bus drivers on their way to reveal Snoopy's secret past—only to discover that there really is no place like home in this heartwarming story featuring Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and the whole gallery of your Peanuts favorites.
'Snoopy Come Home' is one of the most touching Peanuts movies out there. Released in 1972, it works to combat the cynicism and negativity that 'A Boy Named Charlie Brown' (1969) harbored. At its simplest it's a moving story about a boy and his dog. At its most profound it's a look at how discrimination affects us and moves us to act.
Snoopy is living his wonderful, carefree Snoopy life. Until the town starts putting up "No Dogs Allowed" signs everywhere. Snoopy is incensed by this. It's especially troubling because Snoopy is an anthropomorphic dog. Doesn't matter though. Doesn't matter how smart Snoopy is or that he chooses to walk on two feet instead of four, he's still banned from the beach, the library, and the hospital.
In an attempt to sway public opinion Snoopy, with Woodstock's secretarial help, pens a letter to the editor highlighting the injustices being committed against dogkind.
A small hospitalized girl reads Snoopy's letter and writes to him. Snoopy, after reading the girl's letter, packs up his belongings, says goodbye to his best friend Charlie Brown, and sets off to find the little girl.
For a Peanuts movie, this one sure packs a lot of emotion. There's Snoopy, who has to bid farewell to his life back home and Charlie. There's Charlie, who becomes more distraught about his dog leaving with each day that passes, and then there's this little girl who wants Snoopy to come live with her.
Some tough choices are made. Real consequences are faced head on and feelings are hurt, mended, but never put back together the same way. I may be looking too deeply into a Peanuts movie, but I feel like there's a lot to be gleaned here.
Driven by discrimination, Snoopy decides to do something about it. He petitions the press and finds a way in which he can, to him, make things better again. Then there's this idea that Snoopy must choose. Even though we know that Charlie and Snoopy are going to be together for a long while, we're still left wondering why exactly Snoopy is having such a hard time choosing. Even Lucy can't help but miss the loveable mutt.
One of the best things about 'Snoopy Come Home' was the decision to hand over the music and lyrics responsibilities to the incomparable Sherman brothers. They craft some catchy, heartfelt tunes that simply blow the mean-spirited songs of 'A Boy Named Charlie Brown' out of the proverbial water. A highlight being the song "Fundamental Friend Dependability," which is sung by a young girl who attempts to keep Snoopy at her house in the middle of his journey. It's a fun, memorable song that has a specific Sherman signature.
'Snoopy Comes Home' provides some of the best qualities the Peanuts franchise has to offer. It doesn't spend its time incessantly tearing Charlie Brown down, but instead it lets him deal with real feelings of loss and loneliness in a way that's relatable. Animated tears are shed, and maybe a few real ones too. It's a great little film, and one to cherish.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
This is a single-disc release that comes with a 25GB Blu-ray. The only other thing included is a slipcover.
Don't try to adjust the settings on your TV aspect ratio when the movie first starts up. That's because it begins with black bars on the sides and the top, with a small viewable window in the middle. This is only during the beginning credits. After that the image expands to the expected 4:3 aspect ratio.
Like most other old Peanuts films brought to Blu-ray, the 1080p presentation of 'Snoopy Comes Home' features authentic animation with all its imperfections. Age and normal wear and tear are visible too, but expected. For the most part the image is strong.
Pencil lines and brush strokes are constantly visible. This provides a rough, but genuine look. Color fills sometimes vary in shade during the same scene. Pops and scratches are visible too, from time to time, but at least Warner Bros. didn't attempt to scrub every imperfection into non-existence. That would've created a waxy unwatchable movie. Instead, this transfer very much mirrors what we'd expect from animated source material from the '70s.
Like 'A Boy Named Charlie Brown,' 'Snoopy Come Home' sports a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that doesn't provide much in the surround sound department. I'm honestly not really sure why they decided to include more than a mono mix on these releases.
Most of the movie's sound is packed up front in the center channel. If the rear channels get anything it's some music from the songs and an echoing voice intoning "No Dogs Allowed," whenever Snoopy sees another sign, but that's about it. This movie just doesn't lend itself well to a surround sound track. It would've done just fine as a mono or stereo track.
There are no special features provided.
I was actually moved by 'Snoopy Come Home.' It's a simple story about a boy missing his dog and Snoopy's journey to find out who he truly is. It could be considered Snoopy's origin story. With solid video and passable audio, 'Snoopy Come Home' is worth a look.