A Charlie Brown Christmas is a new app that turns the beloved animated classic into an interactive storybook for the iPad (and iOS). It was released on the App Store last week, picked as the App Store App of the Week, and looks sure to be a holiday hit.
I installed the app on the day it came out and have been able to spend some time with it, and get to know it along with my 8 year old daughter. The short story is this is a great holiday app, especially for those who are already fans of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang (and who isn’t really?)
A Charlie Brown Christmas is based on the 1965 TV classic of the same name. The theme is that Charlie Brown is trying to figure out what Christmas is all about.
The story is narrated by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown – and the app uses the original dialogue from the 1965 show as well as digitally remastered illustrations, animations and music that’s been optimized for the iPad. Here’s a rundown of its key features:
* Original dialogue from the 1965 animated classic
* Captivating narration by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown
* Charming soundtrack featuring music and sound effects from the original show
* Decorate your own Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
* Participate in the Lights and Display Contest to unlock rewards
* Educational features such as word and note highlighting to help improve reading and musical skills
* Hear individual words spoken with the tap of a finger
* Touch and drag objects to make them “spring” to life or tilt to watch them slide and move * Objects that literally pop out of the page to delight you and your family!
* Bookmark reveals handy "table of contents" to jump to any page in the book
— So much of the original, beloved version is here. The narration by the original Charlie Brown, the wonderful illustrations, and even the classic ‘Linus and Lucy’ song. It’s a faithful rendering of a favorite classic.
— There’s plenty of fun interactive elements on all its pages. From playing along with the Linus and Lucy track to tapping on characters to hear new dialogue that hasn’t been read by the narrator – and of course some fun animations. You can also finger paint, go caroling, and take part in the Christmas Lights and Display contest – which helps unlock more items to make your own Christmas tree.
— Even on the end page there’s caroling from the Peanuts gang, a nice little finishing touch.
Just about none to speak of. The app is missing AirPlay support, which is a shame – but it can be watched on a big screen via AirPlay Mirroring.
For those of us who grew up with Peanuts and A Charlie Brown Christmas, this iPad version feels warm, familiar, and comfortable – it feels like Christmas. For newer fans like my daughter I think the feelings are similar. She loves the story and loves this version of it.
A Charlie Brown Christmas does what many of the very best iPad apps do – manages to not feel like an app at all. When you’re using it it’s all Charlie Brown and all about the story.
If you’re a Charlie Brown fan, or you’ve got kids in the house who will become fans, then this is a must-have app for the holiday season.
Here’s an App Store link for A Charlie Brown Christmas; it’s priced at $6.99.
Disclosure: This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPad App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the "About" page.