Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to matters of the heart, gets some attention in cartoons. Below are some examples of Valentine’s Day in animation and comics.
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown
There’s not really a “definitive” Valentine’s Day special. Still, one classic “Peanuts” special is the 1975 entry “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown,” where all of the cast experience unrequited love. Sally’s crush on Linus isn’t returned; Linus’ crush on his teacher also is ignored; and Charlie Brown doesn’t get a valentine from the Little Red Haired Girl.
If you’re looking to stream this one, “Be My Valentine,” like the rest of the “Peanuts” specials, is now an Apple TV+ exclusive.
Otherwise, your best option (especially if you want to own a copy) is to buy it on DVD/Blu-ray. “Be My Valentine” has its own DVD release, which comes with two minor specials (“You’re in Love, Charlie Brown” and “It Was Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown”). As of this writing, no Blu-ray version exists.
Note this special’s not to be confused with “A Charlie Brown Valentine,” a follow-up special released in 2002 (and also has its own DVD release).
The series has had a few Valentine’s themed episodes, but the best one is the fourth season episode “I Love Lisa.” It’s also the best episode featuring Ralph Wiggum. Here, Ralph has a crush on Lisa, after she’s the only one in the class to give him a valentine out of pity. We also get the local radio station playing “Monster Mash” by mistake, and trying to pass it off as a “love song.”
Season six’s “Another Simpsons Clip Show” has Lisa handwave the spring-like February weather in “I Love Lisa” as stating it was an “unusually warm February 14.” A common element of cartoons depicting Valentine’s Day (snow/cold weather apparently only exists for Christmas specials). Most likely, what happens when the movie and TV industry’s mainly based in southern California.
The episode’s available on “The Simpsons”’s fourth season DVD set. It’s also available for streaming on Disney+.
In 2012, Google created an animated short for Valentine’s Day, as its “Google Doodle.” It’s set to the tune of a Tony Bennett song (“Cold Cold, Heart”). The short features a boy trying to impress a girl, and using Google (what else?) to search for ways to do so.
The 1976 DC Calendar: Hawkman and Hawkgirl
In 1976, DC Comics released a wall calendar highlighting various birthdays, debuts, etc. for its characters up to that point. Some were taken from the comics, while others were made up for the calendar.
While most of the dates avoid holidays, one doesn’t. Valentine’s Day is listed as the wedding anniversary of the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl. That is, the alien cops from Thanagar, not the reincarnated Egyptians. No idea for the Hawks’ modern versions, whose backstory is now an extremely confusing and convoluted mashup of both versions. (Thanks a lot, “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and “Hawkworld.”)
James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh’s graphic novel series “The Backstagers” includes a Valentine’s Day special. In it, one of the boys, Beckett, is deemed a “Valentine’s Day Grinch.” As such, he turns the crew’s backstage hangout into a “no Valentine’s Day zone,” with anti-Valentine’s Day banners everywhere. Some of said banners are aimed at fellow stagehands and resident lovebirds Hunter and Jory.
Beckett traditionally spends Valentine’s Day watching gory horror films while eating junk food. However, the story’s events make Beckett have some change of heart (no Grinch reference intended).
Other romance-related posts
I’ve written a few other romance-related posts about cartoons; see also:
- Favorite romance stories in comics (from 2019)
- A look at same-sex weddings in cartoons (also from 2019)