Picks and Pans Review: Easter Classics

updated 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>IT'S THE EASTER BEAGLE, CHARLIE BROWN

Always trying to sort out the meaning of life, the Peanuts characters face another tough issue—defining Easter—in this lovely half-hour cartoon, made for TV in 1974. Schroeder thinks Easter is a time for renewal; Lucy says "it's a great time of the year to start getting things." Meanwhile, Linus, despite his experiences with the Great Pumpkin, knows the Easter Beagle will set it all right. When things look bad, Sally Brown scolds Linus: "I've been burned again. This should teach me: Never trust a man with a blanket. Get me my lawyer." But Snoopy comes to the rescue in a way that suggests a theme after all—faith. (Hi-Tops, $14.95; 800-453-5900)

EASTER PARADE It's not a children's movie, of course, but this film is colorful enough to please the kids. While the adults sigh as Fred Astaire and Ann Miller perform "It Only Happens When I Dance with You," the little ones can enjoy the Astaire-Judy Garland hobo number, "A Couple of Swells." (MGM/UA, $19.95; 800-443-5500, ext. 792)

A FAMILY CIRCUS EASTER Well, maybe "classic" is overstating it a bit for this one. From the syndicated newspaper comic A Family Circus, it has a comfy feel, though, even if it is on the prosaic side. Mommy, Daddy, Billy, Dolly, Jeffy, baby P.J. and the unhappily named Barfy the dog behave in realistic, not too entertaining ways in this half-hour tape, a 1982 TV special. The plot has to do with the older children trying to make sure P.J. can find a few eggs on Easter morning. A fantasy sequence includes Dizzy Gillespie as the voice of the Easter Bunny. (Family Home Entertainment, $9.95)

From Our Partners