It goes without saying that Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang are among the most beloved figures in America’s pop culture history. Their adventures on the printed page and on screen have brought together generations of audiences and have been seen around the world. Now this week, four classic Peanuts feature-length films were re-issued yet again by Paramount on Blu-ray in what the studio has dubbed the Snoopy Collection. That title for the collection is the starting point for what is otherwise a very problematic presentation from Paramount. It will be discussed shortly. The collection of the movies in this platform makes for its own share of problems and will be discussed a little later. The average price point of this collection rounds out its most important elements and will be discussed later, too. Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of Paramount’s latest Peanuts movie collection re-issue. All things considered, they make this re-issued set a dishonor to the legacy of Charles Schulz and to Peanuts fans.
Paramount’s newly re-issued Peanuts 4-Movie Collection is a disappointing presentation from the famed movie studio. The concern comes right off the top in the set’s titling. Paramount is marketing the re-issued collection as the Snoopy Collection instead of simply using the original title of the Peanuts 4-Movie Collection. Such a title infers that all four movies in the collection focus on Snoopy, rather than the whole Peanuts gang. The reality is that only one movie in the collection – Snoopy, Come Home – centers mainly on Snoopy. The other three movies – A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown, and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown, And Don’t Come Back –focus on the whole group. So in using the new title, Paramount is essentially lying to audiences. That is, in itself very disappointing. It is as if someone at Paramount set out to intentionally mislead consumers, expecting them to buy the set just because it has Snoopy on the cover and title; this even though audiences might already own the movies featured in the set. Speaking of the movies featured in the set, they make up another concern surrounding the collection.
The movies featured in Paramount’s Snoopy Collection were already released together on DVD in 2016, also through Paramount. What’s more, that single-disc collection is also widely available to purchase online and in stores. The quality of the footage between the two collections is roughly the same. There was no re-mastering in this latest case. So to that end, audiences who might already own that single-disc collection have no reason to purchase this not-so-new collection. As if that is not enough, all four movies are available by themselves. A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home were re-issued by themselves in September 2016 on Blu-ray. They were also re-issued in 2015 on DVD alongside this set’s other two movies. So audiences who already own the aforementioned Blu-ray releases would essentially be buying those same two movies on Blu-ray again along with the DVD movies, except this time on BD, too. Maybe audiences don’t own any of the movies or some mix and match, then sure, the set will be worth the purchase. Those audiences who perhaps (like this critic) already own all four movies have zero reason to buy, though. That applies whether audiences own the movies in their collection or in their standalone platforms. Simply put, the presentation of all four movies here is just as little reason for most audiences to buy the set as the deceptive titling for the collection.
Continuing from the set’s general presentation, its average price point is one more reason that audiences should leave this one on the shelves (physical and digital). The average price point for the new BD presentation of the Peanuts 4-Movie Collection is $42. That price was obtained by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Books-A-Million. Amazon, Walmart, Target each list the set below that price, at $36.97, $38.99, and $29.96 respectively. Audiences will note that Walmart’s listing is the lowest of that group, while the other two noted retailers’ prices are just below that point. That is telling in itself. Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Books-A-Million meanwhile list the set at an extraordinary $57.99 and $44.99 respectively. Keep in mind here that each set spreads the movies across four discs, so Paramount cannot use the excuse of extra material used to make the set for the exorbitantly high pricing.
By comparison, the average price point for the noted single-disc DVD collection is $11.19. That price was obtained by averaging prices at the same retailers used to get the average price point for the collection’s BD presentation. Keeping this in mind, the average price point for the collection’s BD set is more than three times that of the collection’s DVD set. Barnes & Noble Booksellers once again far exceeds the average, this time at $21.99. Target and Amazon actually present the least expensive of the set’s listings in this case, at $7.59. The short and simple of everything here is that the comparison of the DVD collection’s pricing to that of the collection’s new BD re-issue is stark and all the more reason for audiences to lean more toward the DVD collection than the BD set. When this aspect is considered along with everything else noted here and the fact that both sets spread the movies across four discs, it all makes the not-so-new presentation among the most disappointing of this year’s new family DVD and BD box sets.
Paramount’s new Blu-ray re-issue of the Peanuts 4-Movie Collection is a disappointing presentation. It does nothing but disrespect fans of the timeless franchise and the legacy of Charles Chulz, the creator of Good Ol’ Charlie Brown and company. The problems with this set start before audiences even place any of the discs in the Blu-ray player’s tray. Instead of just going with the same name as that used in the set’s 2016 DVD presentation, someone at Paramount instead tried to deceive audiences and change the set’s title to Snoopy Collection. This is even considering the fact that the set features the same movies as those in the DVD set. Only one of the set’s movies centers mainly on Snoopy, while the other three focus on the whole Peanuts gang. So again, here is proof that someone at Paramount thought it smart to act like this set is something new when clearly it isn’t. Speaking of the featured movies, they have – again – been presented together in a four-disc DVD set that is still widely available to this day. Those movies are also available as standalone presentations, with two – A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Come Home – already available on Blu-ray by themselves. The other two movies are available mainly on DVD. Simply put, what all of this adds up to (no pun intended) is that Paramount is trying to pressure audiences to put that aside and let their fandom control them. Audiences should not give in to this pressure if they already have these movies in their collective or standalone presentations. The exorbitant price for this set is just one more reason that audiences should leave this set on the shelves if they already own its featured movies. This set’s average price point is more than three times that of the set’s DVD presentation. The separate listings are just as stark in their comparisons. Keeping that in mind along with everything else noted, the people at Paramount should be ashamed for having dishonored Peanuts’ fans and the legacy of Peanuts’ creator, Charles Schulz with this set. It all combines to paint Paramount as a company that (like Disney and Warner Home Entertainment) cares more about its bottom line than about actually entertaining audiences. More simply put, it is a presentation that makes it look like Paramount cares more about quantity (how much money it can make) than about quality (actually offering content worth buying).
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