This year marks the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, the 1965 television special that combined Charles Schulz's Peanuts characters, the jazzy music of the Vince Guaraldi Trio, and an honest look at the melancholy of the season, to become one of the most beloved and enduring holiday specials ever. It's a big anniversary, and that makes this year a better time than than most to talk about how it all came together.

The folks at Mashable have done just that with a look behind the scenes of the television special, including animation cels and an original script page that are more than worth your time to check out.


Original script for A Charlie Brown Christmas
Script page via Mashable and the Charles Schulz Museum


Seeing the handwritten notes on a script page --- along with taped-on additions as it went through the writing process --- is pretty cool, but there's one other really nice thing about the information, provided to Mashable by the Charles Schulz Museum's archives.

Unlike most behind-the-scenes glimpses, what's compelling here isn't a heated story of buried drama. Instead, like Peanuts itself, it's interesting because of the small things, like the change from the original Charlie Brown's Christmas to the title that made it to air. A Charlie Brown Christmas might seem like a small change, but it's an important one, and as Lance Ulanoff points out, it makes the whole thing seem a lot more universal. We can all have a Charlie Brown Christmas, but for Charlie Brown, it's always the Charlie Browniest.


Charlie Brown Christmas promotional image


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