Way Out Wednesday: “Flashbeagle”
Here’s the soundtrack to one of the most unusual (and dated) Peanuts specials out there. The year is 1983. Charles Schulz, inspired by the movie Flashdance released earlier that year, draws this comic strip:
Inspired by that, the new Peanuts animated special It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown appears on TV on April 16, 1984. I remember this special when it first came out. I wasn’t a Flashdance fan, but I did catch all the Peanuts specials. I enjoyed the fact that this one had a lot more songs in it than normal. And it’s not just them singing songs; it’s like a whole special of Peanuts production numbers! Here are some highlights from the soundtrack.
Here’s a square dance sort of song featuring supporting character Pig Pen called “The Pig Pen Hoedown.” While admittedly a one-joke character, I always enjoyed seeing him. This is probably the most screen time he’s ever gotten in a TV special.
Next we have “Lucy Says,” where the gang play a version of Simon Says, except featuring Lucy. This plays perfectly into her bossiness, even singing that “Lucy says, ‘I’m gonna marry Schroeder someday.’” (Somehow, I don’t think that one came true!)
I don’t remember Peppermint Patty being any sort of fitness guru, but it sure seems like it in the song “Peppermint Patty’s P.E. Program (I’m in Shape).” She says in the song that she runs five miles every morning and does 100 pushups every day, and that’s without the use of steroids. (Take that, A-Rod!)
Since there weren’t enough songs to fill out the album, they added a few extras on the album, and this one’s my favorite. Charlie Brown is all depressed (big shock) because he thinks he’ll never win at anything. Linus sings an inspirational song to him called “Don’t Give Up, Charlie Brown” and, just like in the title tune for the show You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, everybody else tries to be encouraging to him as well. Of course, the main reason Charlie Brown is always so depressed is because these very people are the ones who knock him down physically and mentally in the first place. Isn’t it ironic? (Don’t you think?)
And we end with the title song from the special, “”Flashbeagle.” On the show, Snoopy does a choreographed dance number on a dance floor with moves very reminiscent of the movie Flashdance. The reason for this is because the number was danced by Marine Jahan, the woman who did most of Jennifer Beals’ dancing in the movie. The animation then followed her model.
Here’s a clip from a special showing Jahan’s dancing and Snoopy’s mimicking of it. The two singers are Desiree Goyette (a woman who also sang on a number of Garfield specials as well) and Joey Scarbury, singer of The Greatest American Hero theme. (Believe it or not!)
I wanted to feature this album now because, not only is this the 25th anniversary of the TV special, but it’s been re-released as the second feature of the DVD Snoopy’s Reunion which just came out yesterday. If you want to snag a copy off of Amazon.com, you can click on the link right here! (And if you’d like to get the entire album, you can get it here!)