I'd like to start this hopefully continuous series of posts with the motion picture, A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
Featuring the theatrical release in 1969, this movie has seen a number of cable-TV re-airings in recent years (well, if you count the early 90's recent). As a child, Charlie Brown was a major influence in my drive to draw, and many of the specials and movies I saw heavily guided my artistic direction early on. Charles Schulz's charming cartoon for this reason is very near and dear to me. But in particular, I feel this movie stands out from many by far.
Not only does it feature a charming story that never needs to go over the top to stay interesting, it is well paced and humorous without needing to be edgy, something modern animated films have trouble grasping. In addition, it features some of the most memorable musicals on par with Disney ones. Vince Guaraldi's Skating with Snoopy and Schroeder's rendition of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata stand out.
Most importantly, as with many Charlie Brown specials, this film taught a very important lesson: failure. It would be hard to find a modern animated film that didn't have the usual happy or favorable ending serving as the crowd pleaser. But a Boy Named Charlie Brown has the main protagonist fall flat on his face at the end of all his endeavors, but teaches that regardless of one's failures, the world doesn't end. One of my most favorite animated films, A Boy Named Charlie Brown is not a movie to miss.