Charlie Brown Christmas

November 23, 2011 by staff 

Charlie Brown Christmas, This iOS app is based on the 1965 TV animated special “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Of course, it’s aimed at children, but even adults who grew up with Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts cartoon series will enjoy it — it’s just so darn appealing. Filled with touchy-feely and sound effects charm, it recreates the TV special — which itself reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. The iPad version is fabulous.

The app steps through the Christmas special in 19 chapters, starting the with the frozen pond’s ice skating rink, Charlie’s selection of a Christmas tree, the Christmas play, and the final decoration of the tree. Each scene is a still, but is interactive and uses the original cast’s voices. In the Christmas play, Linus retells a short version of the Christmas story, the birth of baby Jesus.

Each chapter has multiple pages, indicated by smal tabs on the right. The player first steps through the dialog by swiping the pages when prompted. When each scene is done, it’s time to start touching and hearing. The reader can pop a snowflake by touching it, cause a falling star, interact with some of the items on the screen, and generate new or recap dialog by touching the actors. In one scene you can play a short Christmas melody by touching each member of Charlie’s gang in sequence. In another, you can bring up a piano on the display and play Shroeder’s piano.
If you touch the right things in the right sequence, you win prizes in the “lights and Display” contest, extra things with which to decorate Charlie Brown’s tree. [See the green tab on the right in the first image above.] Not only does the app charmingly recreate the Christmas special movie, but it has some pedagogical value. The words in the dialog are highlighted as the narrator, the original voice of Charlie Brown, Mr. Peter Robbins, speaks. You can go back and touch any single word, and it’ll be spoken aloud.

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