'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving': When, where to watch or stream this holiday treat, plus 4 fun facts

by 24USATVNov. 19, 2021, 9 p.m. 18
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“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is classic around the holiday. Here’s how you can watch it before Thanksgiving in 2021.

The special will air at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21, on PBS.

But you don't have to wait to Sunday. You can stream it on Apple TV+. People who sign up for Apple TV+ will get a 7-day free trial before having to pay $4.99 a month.

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is the third holiday special in the Peanuts franchise, following “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in 1965 and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" in 1966.

Here are four things to look for as you watch:

We don't hate Lucy Van Pelt, but she sure isn't nice.

Lucy has her usual scene where she yanks away the football as the always naïve Charlie Brown attempts to kick it. But that opening scene is the only time we see Lucy.

Everyone remembers the "wah wah wah" trombone sound used for Charlie Brown's teacher. But "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" was the first special to feature an adult voice, according to WFTV in Orlando, Florida.

The adult doesn't have a line in the special. Instead, composer Vince Guaraldi, the man behind the iconic Peanuts theme song, is heard in the song "Little Birdie."

Linus' speech about the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving dinner was animated 13 years later into its own special, "This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers," according to TV Guide.

In the final scene, Woodstock helps Snoopy set up a Thanksgiving feast and later digs in. “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz insisted on including it.

Producer Lee Mendelson, in what he called a rare dispute with Schulz, objected to the bird cannibalism.

“For some reason I was bothered that Woodstock would eat a turkey. I voiced my concern, which was immediately overruled,” Mendelson wrote in The Huffington Post.

Mendelson said he "sneakily" cut the scene when CBS wanted the special trimmed to 22 minutes. It was later restored to its original version when the Peanuts brand moved to ABC.

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