Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

This October we will be reviewing a few of our very favorite Halloween specials and movies. Keep an eye out for these in the weeks to come, as we go back in time to reminisce on those classic films that had such a great impact on us over the years!

When it comes to Halloween specials, there are not many that give the feeling that "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" provides. Charles Schultz yet again puts together a 30 minute classic that has been a staple of the Halloween season.

The special starts right out with a perfect fall landscape. Linus and his sister Lucy go out to the pumpkin patch to get ready to carve a jack-o-lantern. When they bring the pumpkin back in the house Lucy lays out some paper and begins carving. Poor Linus, being unfamiliar with pumpkin carving, cries "You didn't tell me you were going to kill it!!!"

Linus then writes a letter to the Great Pumpkin, who he believe will come to the most sincere pumpkin patch on Halloween night and deliver presents to all the good kids in the world. Unfortunately for Linus, none of his friends or even his sister are taking him seriously and think he is making a fool of himself. That is, everyone but Charlie Brown's sister Sally, who believes anything Linus tells her.

Halloween night arrives and Linus takes his place in the pumpkin patch with a sign reading "Welcome Great Pumpkin", while the rest of the gang is getting ready for a fun Halloween night of trick-or-treating, then heading over to Violet's for the big Halloween party. On their way out, they stop by the pumpkin patch to tease Linus some more but Linus stands by his belief that the Great Pumpkin will arrive. Sally, feeling bad for her crush, decides to stay with him in the pumpkin patch instead of going out with the other kids.

During trick-or-treating, the gang receives a assortment of candies, apples and gum, while poor Charlie Brown gets stuck with only rocks. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown's faithful dog, Snoopy, is wearing his World War I flying ace costume, and climbs onto his doghouse, which he imagines to be a fighter plane. He flies into battle against the Red Baron, where they engage into a fierce battle in which his plane is shot down and he finds himself in enemy territory. Snoopy travels through the countryside, which leads him to the Halloween party, where Charlie Brown and his friends are at. He hangs around a bit, mostly near Schroeder's piano, who is playing World War I tunes just for him.

Snoopy ends up leaving the party and heads to the pumpkin patch where Linus and Sally are still waiting for the Great Pumpkin to show up. By this time Sally is having doubts about the whole thing, when suddenly they hear rustling in the vines. Linus gets so worked up with excitement that he ends up fainting before he could see it was not the Great Pumpkin rising from the pumpkin patch, but only Snoopy. Sally is deeply let down and scolds Linus for making her miss the Halloween party, trick-or-treating and all the Halloween fun. Just then, the gang shows up as everyone is heading home for the night. Sally decides to leave too, while Linus tries to convince everyone that the Great Pumpkin is still coming and promises to put in a good word for them.

At 4 am Lucy wakes up and notices her brother is still not in bed, which prompts her to go look for him. When she comes to the pumpkin patch, she finds Linus asleep and shivering, so she brings him back home and puts him to bed. A couple weeks later Charlie Brown and Linus are at the rock wall discussing their disappointment from Halloween night. Charlie Brown tries to make Linus feel better by telling him he has done stupid things before, but this just angers Linus and he vows next year the great pumpkin will come!!!

This halloween classic has been a highly regarded family favorite every October. I know in my household this has become a must when we are carving Jack-O-Lanterns. What makes this special so great is how it touches on the childlike innocence that Linus provides in his undying belief of the Great Pumpkin, as well as captures this special time of year with great fall imagery. It's simple, yet effective in reminding us of our childhood experiences at Halloween.

Buy on DVD, Blu-Ray & Digital!

Find more Halloween movies to watch on our Pinterest board!