Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown is a 1977 animated film produced by United Feature Syndicate for Paramount Pictures and directed by Bill Meléndez. It is the third in a series of films based on the Peanuts comic strip. It was the first Peanuts feature-length film produced after the death of composer Vince Guaraldi and used the same voice cast from the 1975 TV special, You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown. In this film, the Peanuts gang heads off to Camp Remote somewhere in the mountains where they ultimately compete in a river rafting race.
The movie has aired on the Cartoon Network on several occasions with some of the scenes of Snoopy and Woodstock trying to find each other after becoming separated cut out, likely due to time constraints.
The Peanuts gang heads off to Camp Remote somewhere in the mountains. Charlie Brown is accidentally left behind by the bus while at a desolate rest stop. He is then forced to hitch a harrowing ride on Snoopy's motorcycle in order to make the rest of the journey to the camp, accompanied by rock guitar type riffs while he is shouting in fear at Snoopy's wild driving.
Upon their arrival, the kids are immediately exposed to the regimentation and squalor of camp life which is a stark contrast to their comfortable residences back home. They are unfamiliar with the concept that the camp schedule is in military time (Franklin asks if "oh-five-hundred" is noon, and Sally thinks "eighteen-hundred" is a year). Although they do their best to adjust to the rigors of camp life, Snoopy, in a tent of his own, enjoys an ice cream sundae while watching TV on his portable set.
The gang must contend with a trio of ruthless bullies (and their cat, Brutus, vicious enough to intimidate even Snoopy) who openly boast of them having won the race every year they have competed. The only thing that keeps them at bay is Linus using his security blanket like a whip (which also gets him unwanted attention from Sally due to her praising the courage of her "Sweet Babboo"). It is revealed that their success has always been through outright cheating, using a raft equipped with an outboard motor, direction finder, radar, and sonar, and even resorting to every trick they could think of to hamper or destroy everyone else's chance to even make it to the finish line, much less win the race.
The kids are broken into three groups: the boys' group (consisting of Charlie Brown, Linus, Schroeder, and Franklin), the girls' group (consisting of Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Lucy, and Sally), and Snoopy and Woodstock. Charlie Brown is the very reluctant leader of the boys' group, well-meaning but struggling with his insecurities. His foil is Patty, the leader of the girls' group, who is very confident despite her incompetence as a leader. She insists on every decision, no matter how inconsequential, being confirmed by a vote of secret ballots. Predictably, when the voting is tied or she finds the results unsatisfactory, she often overrules the decision, to the disdain of the others.
The groups run into different obstacles: getting lost, stranded, storms, blizzards, and sabotage from the bullies. Snoopy abandons the race to search tirelessly for Woodstock when a storm separates them; after a long search, they manage to find each other and are joyfully reunited. Charlie Brown starts to grow more into his leadership role, becoming leader of both the boys' and girls' groups when the bullies sabotage both of their rafts, forcing them to work together.
Thanks to Charlie Brown's growing self-confidence and leadership, the gang is about to win the race at the climax after overcoming considerable odds. Unfortunately, Patty incites the girls to celebrate too soon and they accidentally knock the boys overboard in their excitement; when they attempt to rescue them, the bullies seize the opportunity to pull ahead.
The bullies gloat about their apparently imminent victory. However, their brash over-confidence, infighting, and constant carelessness during the race has seen them become involved in numerous mishaps, causing them to suffer substantial damage to their raft. Just shy of the finish line, their raft finally gives out and sinks. This leaves Snoopy and Woodstock as the only contenders left. Brutus slashes Snoopy's inner tube with a claw, but Woodstock promptly builds a raft of twigs with a leaf for a sail and continues toward victory. When Brutus tries to attack Woodstock, Snoopy decks him, and Woodstock wins the race. Conceding defeat, the bullies begin to vow vengeance next year, but their threats are humiliatingly cut short when Snoopy hands Brutus a rough beating after he threatens Woodstock again.
As the gang boards the bus to depart for home, Charlie Brown decides aloud to use the experience as a lesson to be more confident and assertive, and to believe in himself. Unfortunately, right after he finishes speaking, the bus leaves without him for the second time, and as before, he is forced to hitch a ride with Snoopy again.
- Duncan Watson - Charlie Brown
- Brent Titcomb - Snoopy (Speaking)
- Barrie Ingham - Woodstock (Speaking)
- Gail M. Davis - Sally Brown
- Melanie Kohn - Lucy van Pelt
- Liam Martin - Linus van Pelt
- Stuart Brotman - Peppermint Patty
- Jimmy Ahrens - Marcie
- Greg Felton - Schroeder
- Tom Muller - Bully, Franklin
- Kirk Jue - Bully
- Jordan Warren - Bully
- Bill Melendez - Snoopy (Non-Speaking), Woodstock (Non-Speaking)
- Vincent Price - Brutus the cat (Speaking)
- Jackson Beck - Brutus the cat (Vocal Effects)
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