For almost 50 years, Charles M. Schulz wrote and drew the Peanuts comic strip, which introduced the world to Charlie Brown, his dog, Snoopy, and their supporting cast of memorable characters. However, Schulz’s greatest contribution to pop culture may be the 1965 Christmas special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Schulz personally wrote the animated debut of the Peanuts gang, and it was at his insistence that the special didn’t shy away from the religious aspect of Christmas or from acknowledging the commercialization of the holiday that often drowns out the true meaning of the season. It was also Schulz’s idea for Charlie Brown to find a Christmas tree that embodied the eternal underdog of his own character.
Despite some fears that A Charlie Brown Christmas would be a failure, it was a massive hit with critics and audiences alike, paving the way for it to become an annual holiday tradition to be broadcast on television. And for 57 years, fans could always count on finding A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV as they shared it with their family and children. For the second year in a row, A Charlie Brown Christmas, will only be available on a streaming platform. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to watch it for free.
If you want to see Charlie and the gang celebrate Christmas, exchange gifts, and jam to that signature Vince Guaraldi score, head to Apple TV+ to begin streaming. Apple joined the streaming wars in November 2020 with the launch of Apple TV+. While the service was largely unheralded at first — a repository for generally overlooked original content — Apple TV+ has used an aggressive promotional model to grow membership to 25 million people (with 50 million people on temporary promotional access).
The streaming service has also made waves with Oscar-winning originals like CODA, as well as prestige programming like the Will Smith drama Emancipation and the comedy/drama series Ted Lasso, which took home seven Primetime Emmy awards out of its whopping 20 nominations in 2021. Other popular shows on the platform include the Emmy-winning The Morning Show, as well as Defending Jacob, Bad Sisters, Mythic Quest, and one of its current hits, Severance.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is currently streaming on Apple TV+.
Apple TV+ is one of the more affordable streaming services, costing just $7 a month. That’s the same as Netflix’s bottom-tier, ad-supported subscription and a lot less than its maxed-out $20-per-month Premium membership.
Better yet, Apple has adopted an extremely aggressive acquisition model for Apple TV+. Anybody can try it for free for seven days, or you can get three months for free with the purchase of any eligible iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV device, or Mac. You just have to remember to redeem the offer within 90 days of purchase.
To find out more on what’s on Apple TV+, please check out our best movies on Apple TV+.
Only if you like perfection. Yes, it’s over a half-century old and the animation is dated (or retro, depending on your point of view), but it’s charming as can be, and perfect for anyone to get in the mood for Christmas.
Plus, it’s funny. You forget how much laughs are packed in these Peanuts specials, and Schultz is at his best with this special. Who can forget Lucy’s wayward advice to poor Charlie, or any of Snoopy’s antics? A Charlie Brown Christmas taps into nostalgia for a “simpler time” without being too heavy-handed about it.
On Rotten Tomatoes, A Charlie Brown Christmas registers 85% on the Tomatometer and an 86% audience score. The special runs just over 25 minutes, and was directed by Bill Melendez.
Stream A Charlie Brown Christmas on Apple TV+ today.