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Kinder-Editorial :: Kinderpal Mickster on the Horrors of Snoopy Come Home

May 6th, 2009 by kinderpal mickster · 12 Comments

snoopy come home!

Utter joy is what I felt when I first learned there was a feature length Charlie Brown cartoon, and it would soon air on CBS. What I didn’t know was the traumatizing effect it would have on me as a child. One might assume it was Snoopy leaving Charlie Brown to live with his previous owner, Lila, that disturbed me, but that event was only a drop in the bucket of despair that is SNOOPY COME HOME.

Let us begin with the discrimination and prejudice endured by Snoopy. Right from the beginning of the film, Snoopy is cast out of all his favorite spots simply because he is a dog. A familiar deep voice (THURL RAVENSCROFT) sings, “No Dogs Allowed!” throughout the film. Even Woodstock is not immune to these senseless acts of bigotry. At the beach, library, bus, hospital, and apartment complex Snoopy is deemed unworthy.

snoopy come home!

Next, we are introduced to a future serial killer. As Snoopy and Woodstock are making their journey, they encounter a seemingly harmless little girl. The soon find, however, she is not harmless at all. Before you can say Lizzie Borden, Snoopy has a thick rope tied around his neck, and Woodstock is shoved into a cage. This diabolical girl likes her victims clean, so she proceeds to almost drown poor Snoopy in the tub. Her next step is to dress her victim, and play tea party where she purposely spills tea then blames Snoopy. She puts Snoopy across her knee and spanks him. This is truly twisted stuff. Snoopy makes a break for it and attempts to call for help. Unfortunately, she retches the phone from his paw and drags him to the local vet. Luckily, Snoopy escapes the vet’s office and rushes back to the crime scene to help Woodstock get away. Nail-biting action ensues as the psychopath chases Snoopy and Woodstock through the house of horrors. In the end, Snoopy and Woodstock barely escape with their lives. I find it interesting psycho-girl keeps calling to her mother about her new pets, but there is no reply. My theory is the mother has already been dispatched PSYCHO-style by this miniature serial killer in the making.

The final death nail, for me, was the going away bash held for Snoopy after he announced his plans to live permanently with his former owner, Lila. When even Lucy begins crying over Snoopy’s imminent departure you know it is for real. I cannot recall if I made it through the entire going away party before slipping off to my bedroom to sob uncontrollably. Once again, as she always did, my mother came looking for me. She encouraged me to return for the rest of the movie. Happily, I returned just in time to see Snoopy come home to Charlie Brown.

Many years later, I shared this film with my niece. I wondered if I had been a total wimp when I had watched the movie as a child. I soon found my niece had an almost identical reaction to the movie. I, like my mother, had to coax her into finishing the movie.

snoopy come home!

Tags: Kinder-Editorial · Telenasties

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brother BillNo Gravatar // May 6, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Talk about trauma… I distinctly remember watching this on TV in early grade school and getting so depressed that I wouldn’t eat dinner that night. Of all the horror shows from childhood that I’ve dug up and revisited, Snoopy Come Home is the one thing I refuse to watch again–just one long, pointless downer! Brother Bill

  • 2 RedMenaceNYCNo Gravatar // May 6, 2009 at 10:53 am

    See, I am so glad you brought up the emotional torture chamber that is SNOOPY COME HOME!  I’ve never told anyone about the damage that movie did to me for fear of being mocked mercilessly for the rest of my days.  I remember being 5 or 6 and rushing to the town park to see it at their weekly summer kids’ movie night with nary an inkling to the future therapy sessions I was skipping merrily into.  And exactly as you said, at the going-away party, when it becomes apparent that is ACTUALLY HAPPENING…Snoopy is REALLY LEAVING….FOREVER!!!….the floodgates opening and I started howling like a professional funeral wailer.  Even when Snoopy came back at the end, I was, as my mother  put it, “inconsolable”.  I bawled ceaselessly the whole way home and most of the night.  FAMILY FUN!!!  Thank you for bringing this up and allowing me to finally come out of the SNOOPY COME HOME closet!

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // May 6, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    “My theory is the mother has already been dispatched PSYCHO-style” 
    That made me laugh out loud but I think you are definitely on to something Mickster…
    “Fundamental Friend Dependability” is straight out of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. She should sing “Goodbye Horses” as an encore. 
    I believe she gives Snoopy a bath in order to prepare his coat for harvest.

    “What does she do, Mickster? She COVETS. Do we seek out things to covet? We begin by coveting what we see everyday.”

  • 4 FilmFatherNo Gravatar // May 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Snoopy Come Home is another example of why I have to preview what I remember as favorite childhood movies before showing them to my kids. I actually had to turn this off a few months ago when doing just that — even as an adult, I couldn’t handle all the depraved sh*t going on.

    Although looking back on my childhood viewing of SCH, I think I cried the most (out of joy) when Snoopy does in fact come home at the end. The swelling music, the one-by-one reaction of the Peanuts gang, carrying Snoopy over their heads…excuse me, I’ve got something in my eye…

  • 5 micksterNo Gravatar // May 6, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    That is hilarious Unkle L! I am glad I was able to make you laugh.
    “It rubs the soap on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.”

  • 6 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // May 7, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Strangely, I do not recall ever seeing this movie — and I hope I never do!

  • 7 PhantomWerewolfNo Gravatar // May 7, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I saw this movie back when I was a kid, it was on the TV I believe. That freaky song the little girl sings to Snoopy as she abuses him gets stuck in my head occasionally, though when I first saw it I had no idea what it was saying. Think the words were too big for me as a kid.

    I hear there was a scene cut out from the part with Clara (think that’s her name) where she puts on a wig and stabs Snoopy as she’s giving him another bath. They left it out of course, said something about not being kid friendly.

  • 8 AsatNo Gravatar // May 9, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Ah, good times.  This was the film that taught me never to express emotion in front of others.

    I’m glad to hear Mickster had her niece watch to the end.  A big part of trauma is the lack of resolution.  Of course, in many cases a joyous finale just does have the emotional impact of the terror or despair invoked by the middle of the story.  But the same thing is true of events in real life that turn out okay in the end.  At least when we’ve been inoculated before hand with drama like this, we’ve got a model to fall back on to keep ourselves on track: “things get sad but eventually they get better again.”

    This would be the WORST movie to never see the end of.  The moral would be: “people leave you and it’s sad and then you feel bad forever.”  It’d be like giving up on Scrooge about halfway through the last act.

  • 9 AsatNo Gravatar // May 9, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    …does NOT have the emotional impact, I meant to say.  Sure, that typo doesn’t make it hard to read.

  • 10 jahirkamalNo Gravatar // May 10, 2009 at 6:57 am

    I think this movie like to all. But does not have so much emotion.

  • 11 StickmannNo Gravatar // May 27, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Wow. I didn’t know Baby from “House of 1,000 Corpses” was once a brunette.

    Geez, I’ve been a Peanuts fan since I could read, and to me the strip held a significant role for me as “A Child’s First Guide to Depression.”  I did watch this particular show when it first aired, and I do recall being nominally saddened by the course of the story.

    However, I didn’t realize until now just how f’ed up it truly was. Thanks, YouTube!

  • 12 Hail AntsNo Gravatar // Sep 26, 2011 at 12:42 am

    I think maybe it was because I got the book for Xmas before I first saw the film that the movie wasn’t as hard for me to watch. I knew all the sad parts ahead of time, as well as the very happy ending. Plus the comic book version doesn’t have the verisimilitude that the movie did. In fact, because I knew it ended happily it was actually a very memorable and pleasant journey, watching it for the first time. And unlike the later Peanuts feature films (the summer camp ones etc.) this one told a real story and came full circle. It also, shudder, taught a real lesson about true friendship. Ok, now I’m tearing up…

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