If you are not watching this absolute classic on Halloween, you are doing the holiday an injustice. One of the great comic strips of all-time from Charles Schultz, the Peanuts have given us some absolutely incredible holiday films to give us that warm and nostalgic feeling in our bodies due to the holiday season finally getting underway. Whether it be this special, the Thanksgiving special, or the Charlie Brown Christmas, each one is amazing and has earned the right to be watched every year by everyone.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is set around two plots: Linus trying to convince the gang that there is an entity named The Great Pumpkin that rises out of the pumpkin patch and delivers gifts to children on Halloween to rival Santa Claus on Christmas, and Snoopy’s adventure dream as a World War I flying ace.
This is by far the best of the Charlie Brown TV specials. Every scene has something memorable about it or has a line that I use constantly. The hooting owl in the opening credits scene is one of the most satisfying and inviting sounds ever because it is like the ribbon-cutting for the start of the holiday season.
I believe this is the first time we are introduced to Lucy’s football schtick where she asks Charlie Brown to kick the football only to pull it away from Charlie at the last second so that he has in epic fall to the ground. Also, Charlie has one of the great quotes of all-time that I love repeating on this night, “I got a rock”. Remember that Charlie Brown is disliked by everyone because of his pessimistic takes on almost every aspect of life.
The best scene in this entire special is Snoopy’s adventure in his World War I flying ace costume. He gets on top of his doghouse, which he pretends to use as his aircraft and he gets into this imaginary dogfight during the war. He stumbles into what we are told is France only for him to end up at the Halloween party that the rest of the Peanuts gang is invited to. Another great moment is when Schroeder starts playing some piano tunes and Snoopy dances to the upbeat rhythms and bursts into tears when the music slows down.
Everything you would want out of a holiday movie is what these Charlie Brown specials provide. Nostalgia, fun, and an overall atmosphere that perfectly embodies the holiday it is based around.
30 movies down, 1 to go!