It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is celebrating its 50th Birthday!
As a child, my parents always made sure I didn’t miss when the Peanuts specials came on for the holidays, no matter what holiday it may be. A big reason for this is that my siblings and I share a rather large age gap of 15-20 years, with me being the youngest. My sister and brother always watched these specials with my parents growing up also, so it was a way of connecting as if we all grew up together. Being as It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown was released in 1966 and is celebrating its 50th birthday this year (along with the aforementioned connections), there is no better time than now to cover it. With it being so close to Halloween is also an added bonus, being as I would assume a large portion of the younger generation may have never seen it.
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown ironically follows less of the story of Charlie Brown, but more so the story of Linus and his desire to finally be greeted by the Great Pumpkin. The Great Pumpkin is alluded to be an entity along the lines of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. The lore is that on Halloween Night, the Great Pumpkin will arise from the most sincere pumpkin patch and bring gifts to all the children that had faith and believed in it. Linus is a long time believer in the Great Pumpkin and believes that his pumpkin patch has to be the most sincere. All the characters mock and poke fun at Linus for his beliefs, except for Sally (Charlie’s little sister, who’s crush on Linus is a staple to the series) who decides that she will wait with Linus for the Great Pumpkin. Even though she was invited to her first Halloween party, along with “Tricks or Treats”. This same party is the first that Charlie Brown himself was invited to, even though he is then told later that it was a mistake. (He still gets to go.)
Charlie of course has his characteristic bad luck…
It wouldn’t be a Peanuts special if everything were the work out for Charlie Brown. This could be seen during “Tricks or Treats” where all the children receive candy, while Charlie continues to receive rocks. From the image above you can also see that he had quite the problem making his ghost costume. Positive note here is that he seemed to be well accepted at the party for a change. Most of the characters wear variations of the same ghost costume with minor differences, like the cloud of dust from Pigpen, and a witch face from Lucy. (Poking fun at dirtiness and just being an overall brat must have been more widely accepted back then). Lucy however does come out of character, asking for extra candy for Linus as he is “wasting his Halloween in the pumpkin patch”.
Unfortunately for Linus, the Great Pumpkin never shows. Lucy’s uncharacteristic good nature comes to light for the second time when she gets up in the middle of the night to find Linus asleep and shivering in the pumpkin patch. She then carries him off to bed and another Halloween past. Discouraged but not beaten, Linus tells Charlie that next year will definitely be his year, and that he will have the most sincere pumpkin patch ever imagined.
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is just one of those movies that brings fond memories of childhood for many people, since it has been around for so long. It is definitely worth a watch, especially if to introduce your children to something from when you were there age. Books are also available to tell the story, along with the movie being available digitally (Amazon, affiliate link). So even though the annual CBS showing has passed (last night) there really is no excuse not to sit down, forget all of your worries, and enjoy yourself for 30 minutes with the antics of the peanuts clan.
Images Credit of Disneyscreencaps.com