The iconic collection of characters from Charles M. Shulz’s beloved comic strip, Peanuts, were certainly no strangers to the big screen. In 1969, they reckoned with a National Spelling Bee in A Boy Called Charlie Brown and in 1972, searched far and wide for everyone’s favorite pooch in Snoopy, Come Home. It was time for a new adventure in 1977, as the gang tackled the perils of summer camp in the feature film, Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown.
The whole gang heads off for week of outdoorsy adventure as they accompany Charlie to Rogue River, Oregon to attend summer camp. Charlie immediately has the misfortune of being paired with an unfriendly bunkmate, while the ever-cool Snoopy is having a much better time dominating the entire gamut of camp sporting events.
Things go from bad to worse when the Peanuts gang is challenged to a river race by their camp rivals. While Charlie and crew struggle with a makeshift raft of questionable quality, their counterparts have the luxury of a professionally made vessel, complete with outboard motor, radar and sonar. Facing a barrage of wild animals, as well as unscrupulous tactics by their enemy rivals, only persistence and luck can save the day for the loveable Peanuts gang.
Shulz wrote the script himself, as he had with the two preceding films, as well as each of the popular television specials. Directed by Bill Melendez and Phil Roman, the film also contained a catchy, rustic musical score, thanks to composer, Ed Bogas.
The film was an immediate success and enjoyed many years of being re-released each summer as a popular matinee. It wouldn’t be the last of the Peanuts characters on the big screen, however, as 1980 would bring the whole gang back once again for Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back).
If you have fond memories of seeing this film as a kid, either in the theater or at home, we welcome you to share them in our comments section, as we tip our hats to yet another classic from the wonderful mind of Charles Schulz.