"Do you see that Odie? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! That's the day that people celebrate having food by eating as much of it as possible!"
Ghost here, and thanks for joining me today for yet another
Why am I going with two? As a general rule I cover feature length films or entire series/seasons. It would have felt odd and silly to me to only cover one single 25 minute special. It also helps that I came to know both of these specials in practically the same way. Growing up I loved both Garfield and Charlie Brown. I always watched the Garfield Halloween and Christmas specials when they came on TV. I was also eager to catch the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and Charlie Brown Christmas anytime they happened to be on as well. It wasn't until I purchased the Garfield Holiday Specials and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVDs that I even discovered these two specials existed. Though technically The Mayflower Voyagers is the first episode of a really strange series called This is America, Charlie Brown and not a Thanksgiving special...but eh it counts!
So should we give thanks for these specials or should they end up where all the turkey bones go? And no that sentence wasn't forced whatsoever.
The Mayflower VoyagersThe Mayflower Voyagers is actually one giant history lesson so this one will be shorter. Some of the most popular of the Peanuts Gang are some of the children taking the voyage on the Mayflower to find the New World. The episode begins as the Pilgrims and Strangers leave Plymouth on their voyage to America. After pointing out the poor living conditions on the ship, the Mayflower runs into several violent storms out at sea causing one of the main mid-ship beams to break. The men deliberate about going back to England or continuing on. Obviously they decide to fix the beam and continue. As they finally approach land, Lucy asks to be pointed to the suggestion box as she has a few choice words for the captain.
What's Good About Them?
Jon is an incompetent moron when it comes to cooking this meal. I wasn't joking when I said the sequence was physically painful to watch. While something being a "painful experience" isn't normally something you would praise about something, the scene actually does exactly what it was designed to do. It was designed to make you cringe hard at his sheer idiocy about this turkey. Those two minutes of pain are extremely memorable and well worth he price of admission.
The Mayflower Voyagers
What's Bad About Them?
The Mayflower VoyagersI'm just going to come right out and say it. This special is BORING! I'm talking supremely boring here. If you ever thought Charlie Brown was boring before you haven't seen anything yet. Charlie Brown has always been a more laid back sort of entertainment. You have to expect slow and steady when it comes to their work but mixing slow and steady with trying to teach about locations, dates, and people... is not a winning combination whatsoever. Yes the episode does do it's best to teach you exactly what happened when the Pilgrims sailed and settled to the New World...or at least exactly what happened from white people's standpoint. It's incredibly informative and I genuinely found the explanation for corn planting by using a caught fish to cover the corn kernel interesting. It just made the cardinal sin of most educational products and being simply, thoroughly boring.
As a side note before we end this properly, I was going to mention how interested and impressed I was that both of these Thanksgiving specials slowed the main characters praying.
Obviously this spoke to me as a Christian but even if I wasn't I would have found it interesting to see that they included, but never made a big deal about the prayer. It was just something they did; it's also something I see far less of in specials these days. Now the Charlie Brown episode I wasn't all that shocked by. It was about the actual Pilgrims and the series has always liked to touch on religion when it was valid to do so. I was more surprised/impressed by it happening in the Garfield episode... or I was going to be until I remembered Doc Boy's ludicrous prayer in the Garfield Christmas Special then I suddenly became less surprised. Either way it was interesting and neat to see.
Many times I conclude these by saying that the movie/show etc. deserve to be far better known than they actually are. However, in this case I think the popular opinion is closer to right. While I can certainly recommend Garfield's Thanksgiving to a general crowd, I can't exactly say the same for The Mayflower Voyagers. That being said, Charlie Brown definitely outshines Garfield in it's other proper Thanksgiving special, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Neither of these specials are as good as the ones which have become popular staples of the holiday. If you only have time to watch one Thanksgiving special then pick one of the more popular ones.
However these two specials are not without merit. If you are looking for a little bit of humor and want to watch something that you haven't seen many times then give Garfield's Thanksgiving a watch. If you have a young child who wants to know about the history of Thanksgiving then they may find The Mayflower Voyagers interesting enough to sit through once. As I've said, they aren't bad there is just better out there.
Garfield's Thanksgiving is available on the Garfield Holiday Celebrations DVD
The Mayflower Voyagers is available both on the A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD as well as the season set of This Is America, Charlie Brown
Actually, if you want to watch them both now, I have found them streaming online at the links below.
Garfield's Thanksgiving - Part 1 Part 2
The Mayflower Voyagers
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