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Charlie Brown shooting spree OR another Don’t sue me production

Yes, the Peanuts gang has some of the world’s most recognized characters; is a national treasure; and of course, beloved by all. So when you’re all that, you become a target for parody.

The movie ends with this:

The creator of this picture wishes to state that he does not in any way wish to tarnish or demean the beloved characters of Charles M. “Dutch” Schulz’s comic strip, “Peanuts.” No malice or damage to their goodwill was intended. So please don’t sue me, because it will drag through the courts for years, and I haven’t got a lawyer – and besides, you’ve already got half of the money in the world, and I haven’t got any, OK?

Catch it soon before United Media’s lawyers sends a notice over to Google/YouTube.

Community Comments

#1 Jym
May/30/2007
@ 2:21 am

=v= Well-drawn, but poorly-written on so many levels. The only thing I liked was the song over the closing credits, which you miscredited.

#2 Jeff Stanson
May/30/2007
@ 6:06 am

Only got about half-way through it. Not everything that exists deserves attention just because it exists. I’d rather see this board ignore such for the sake of uplifting the medium and supporting its practioners.

#3 Norm Feuti
May/30/2007
@ 7:47 am

I don’t mind a parody, but this doesn’t even qualify. This guy is just using the Peanuts characters as a vehicle to avoid doing the work of writing something original. Why would anyone put in the amount of work it must have taken to animate this garbage?

I’m seriously put off by the animator’s disingenuous statement at the end. It’s pretty obnoxious of him to use someone else’s intellectual property to take a huge self-indulgent dump, then try to erase it all with an insincere “just kidding, so please don’t sue me”.

If he really wanted to avoid disrespecting the characters and/or litigation, he wouldn’t have made it in the first place.

#4 josh
May/30/2007
@ 9:51 am

I thought it was hi-larious, and I really like reading Peanuts. The animators obviously knew the characters and themes well – it wasn’t generic at all, but a specific parody. You wouldn’t get half the jokes if you didn’t know the comic strip and cartoons.

#5 Dan Vado
May/30/2007
@ 11:31 am

I think everyone is not only being a little harsh on this guy, they are also missing the point. Charlie Brown was the kid who everyone disliked, he was the worst pitcher in the history of baseball, almost everyone made fun of him and everyone liked his dog more than they liked him.

So, back in the day, we could alternately laugh at and feel bad for poor Charlie, hoping he would one day fly a kite, work up the nerve to talk to the little red headed girl or maybe, just maybe, kick a football.

Today, though, Charlie Brown would become angry and bitter and need extensive medication and therapy and probably one day go on a Columbine style rampage taking everyone but his dog with him.

You could turn that mid-fifties innocent tormenting of a fat, round-headed kid into the disdain that would be interpreted as slowly killing someone inside.

While this is not a brilliant work of parody by any stretch, it is still making a point.

#6 Rich
May/30/2007
@ 12:14 pm

It might have been made to express all those points and parodies more effectively by creating characters that visually parody Peanuts instead of a direct rip-off. Without that, it does exactly what the ending text says it wasn’t intended to do.

More of a Robot Chicken or TV Fun House approach might help it. Might not.

Dan, you got a lot more out of this than I did ;) Reminds me of reading a book for HS English and then reading the CliffNotes (okay, not reading the book and reading the cliffnotes)! E.g., The Gulliver’s Travels cartoon made more sense than the expert analysis of the book ;0

#7 pissed
May/30/2007
@ 12:52 pm

Why in the world would you post this?

For God’s sake, Alan. You disgust me.

#8 Alan Gardner
May/30/2007
@ 1:09 pm

Dear pissed. I didn’t post this because I endorse or even enjoyed it. There is an intellectual property battle going on as the YouTube generation creates (borrow/steal) their own content. We’ve seen Mary Worth, Calvin and Hobbes and other features used to create these videos – some done better than others. I”m not going to selectively post them simply because they’re uplifting, I’m doing it to shine light on an issue. At this point, I’m mostly surprised United Media hasn’t had this shut down yet.

#9 Joe
May/30/2007
@ 2:01 pm

This sort of thing has been done to death. There haven’t been any sacred cows left to slaughter since 1968.

Poking fun at the “dark” side of an icon of innocence is about the easiest thing in the world to pull off. Hell, I was drawing “Evil Davey and Goliath” comics when I was seven years old. There’s nothing to it.

What’s this guy’s next brilliant biting “satire”? A nun on a motorcycle? An evil clown? Might as well drag them out too, they’re just as old and tired.

He’s employing a common strategy used by people who can draw but have no imagination. He simply obscures the fact that no ideas are being presented by introducing an outrageous proposal–in this case, violence. You could also use a pin-headed clown or a rude young man who invites all to, “eat my shorts, dude”.

And does he really think United Features is going to come after some guy who posted something on the web for free? He certainly does go on about that. Perhaps it makes him feel important–“look out! This guy’s too hot to handle!”

My advice to Mr. Gardner: Write for The Simpsons (I’m not kidding).

#10 Joe
May/30/2007
@ 2:04 pm

Correction: My advice was to the creator. Mr. Gardner merely posted the cartoon.

#11 Alan Gardner
May/30/2007
@ 2:05 pm

Jym, Joe, You posts suggest you think I had some part in the production of this clip. I did not. I’ve merely posted it for your review.

#12 Joe
May/30/2007
@ 2:10 pm

Alan, see correction.

#13 Larry D
May/30/2007
@ 2:47 pm

Somebody emailed me saw this clip a few months ago. I thought it was funny as heck then, and I still think it’s funny as heck — but I admit that I tend towards truly low humor. That the filmmaker attributed the Coasters’ hit, “Charlie Brown” to the Platters is just plain sad …

#14 Rich
May/30/2007
@ 2:51 pm

Joe, you make some excellent points and I’m still wiping the tear from my eye on the evil Davey and Goliath … that’s a hoot! I like the simpsons, so I don’t want that guy writing for them ;0

Alan, posting these videos does point out how little copyrights and trademarks mean to most on the net. I’m all for it – since I seldom go on YouTube myself (except to see diet coke and mentos), this saves a lot of time!

#15 Lazarus
May/30/2007
@ 3:13 pm

LMAO! I thought this was pretty funny. Definitely gruesome. We all know the Peanuts story line. I don’t see what is wrong with someone else’s take on Charlie Brown finally getting fed up. Now, if the person who made this is getting any kind of monetary kick back because of it, then, yes, shut it down. Otherwise… art is in the mind of the beholder.

#16 Tony
May/30/2007
@ 3:31 pm

If anyone cared to look it up… Jim Reardon made this film in 1986, as a student. There seems to be a prevaling thread through most of these comments that the tone of the film is a result of the “internet generation” having no respect for copyrights. It predates the internet by many years… and displays a more classic attitude, in my opinion. The same one that made Mad magazine a household name…SATIRE.

He has gone on to work on the classic Bakshi Mighty Mouse cartoons, Tiny Toon Adventures, and, yes, The Simpsons.

#17 Mooncity
May/30/2007
@ 3:42 pm

While it may push the boundries of good taste, I don’t see anything wrong with this. I agree, you’d have to be a fan to get most of the in-jokes. I’ve certainly seen far, far worse parodies. I’m not sure what all the vitriol is about, unless it has to do with emotions related to the recent school shootings, etc.

Also, I believe this is an old animation school project, not actually something brand new, like the Calvin thing, so it’s been around for a while (early 80s?). I came across it earlier this year, and got a chuckle out of it. The Robot Chicken one was far funnier, though.

#18 Joe
May/30/2007
@ 4:22 pm

Tony wrote:
“He has gone on to work on the classic Bakshi Mighty Mouse cartoons, Tiny Toon Adventures, and, yes, The Simpsons.”

Whoa! I had no idea! Can I pick ‘um or what?!

#19 sampson
May/30/2007
@ 4:41 pm

i can’t stand violence-as-humor, but i thought this peice was wonderful. the visuals just work too well!

#20 Garey Mckee
May/30/2007
@ 6:29 pm

Wether you liked the clip or disliked the clip, the creator did his job; he got you to watch it. That’s the bottom line.

#21 Rich
May/31/2007
@ 12:29 am

Didn’t know it was done in 1986. It may still represent the internet mindset (it’s digital, it’s free) because it’s being YouTubed verses being shown in a classroom at school. I’m not sure what the rules are on satire, copyright, public and private use are, so it may be alright but I have my doubts. He’s not merchandizing it, but he is using copyrighted characters for more that private use (more than a one-time use satire).

If he caricatured the cartoon figures it would be more like a Mad Magazine satire, but he did not. I did love to read the movie satires in Mad – great artwork and writing in those!

Apparently the budding work of a comic genius I guess, since he went on to greater things. I guess that means he has the assets to be sued! :0

#22 Norm Feuti
May/31/2007
@ 6:37 am

The context of it being a student film changes a lot … it also explains why he spent so much time making such a poor story look good.

The writing isn’t important if it was just meant as a showcase for his animation skills. I also wouldn’t have found the coda obnoxious if I knew it was originally only intended to be viewed by a classroom of his peers.

It would seem my original judgment was premature on this. If I had been aware of the context, I would have judged it solely on the animation … which (despite it’s raw state) was very good.

#23 eddie
May/31/2007
@ 10:43 am

Now, I am definitely not a lawyer, however, after having watched this:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo

Technically this kind of work would qualify as ‘fair use’, would it not?

#24 Alan Gardner
May/31/2007
@ 10:57 am

eddie, that was an excellent video (albeit REALLY long and sometimes irritatingly choppy), but it makes a really good point.

#25 Ben
May/31/2007
@ 11:01 am

The first thing I noticed about this clip was the quality of the animation. It’s great! The characters all have a greater range of motion in three dimentions than the original Peanuts specials do, in spite of it obviously being an unpolished rough pencil version. The story is also fairly pedestrian, but you should be able to tell by the style that it’s a product of it’s era (the 1980’s) and is looking more to “Taxi Driver” than Columbine. It’s just a snippet of irreverent satire that had no future other than (hopefully) making it onto the animation festival circuit. The animator and/or writer obviously has great affection for the subject matter.
And it’s just so well drawn! And hand drawn! In re: quality, this clip is better than %90 of the stuff on Adult Swim, and almost all of the nonsense online that calls itself “cartoons”. I’m all for democratization of the arts, but have you seen the poorly-plotted-out crap that’s out there? Stuff that makes this seem like “Fantasia”?

#26 Rich
May/31/2007
@ 11:35 am

Thanks for the clip link Eddie, that is funny and clears it all up, except for the part it doesn’t. ;)

#27 Dave
June/4/2007
@ 4:38 pm

I think the socialogical mindset of the 80’s generation chooses to display a …………..wow I almost analized this to death also.Its funny,well done and was made before the paranoia of this generation destroyed anything worth watching.Whats on TV is worst then anything you’d see in this parody but hey lets hop on the off the track band wagon and go after Bugs Bunny.Damn that Road Runner!Damn him to hell

#28 Maaik
June/5/2007
@ 6:38 am

I really hope this guy gets sued.

#29 joel
June/29/2007
@ 8:48 pm

is nothing scared anymore?

#30 Kyle Verbeke
January/18/2008
@ 12:01 pm

Wow, you’re all probably the most hard-@$$ed animation buffs I’ve ever encountered. First off, this was made before the “internet generation: you all seem to attribute it to. Second, you’re all looking past how well this is actually animated for a student film. And finally, why do so many of you have problems with him using the Peanuts? It’s a PARODY. This sort of thing is done all the time.

I’m beginning to think you’re all just mad to see Richard Simmons get bumped off at the end.

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