3. The Voice Actors Were Amateurs
To save money and add authenticity to the production, the voice actors for the majority of the Peanuts gang were amateurs… no, like really, really amateur. At Schulz’s request, the production team found kids from animator and director Bill Melendez’s neighborhood in southern California. As it turns out, some of the kids were so young that they couldn’t read the script, so Melendez had to recite the script line by line for the children to learn and repeat.
2. Linus’s Speech Was Almost Cut
At the end of the day, A Charlie Brown Christmas is all about discovering the true meaning of Christmas. This lesson is most enforced when Linus delivers his famous speech in the auditorium during practice for the pageant. From the start, Schulz was set on including a religious message in the movie, and this is no more obvious than when Linus recites several lines from the Gospel of Luke about the annunciation of Jesus’s birth. This speech, however, almost didn’t make it.
Producer Lee Mendelson thought that the speech was too religious for the children’s TV special and that it took away from the entertainment value of the film. Luckily, Schulz got his way, and Linus’s emotional explanation of the true meaning of Christmas survives to this day.
1. Schulz Hated the Jazz Music
As I sit here writing this article, I’m listening to jazz musician Vince Guaraldi’s warming and iconic soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas, but as it turns out, Charles M. Schulz hated jazz and called it “awful.” At the end of the day, however, Schulz was the one who requested that Guaraldi — whom he had previously worked with — return to compose for the Christmas special.