Show Name: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Release Date(s): October 27, 1966
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
The Peanut Gang is celebrating the time of ghosts and goblins by classic “tricks or treats” and a Halloween party. Charlie Brown is hoping this year will go better for him minus the rocks, and Snoopy is headed out for another night of his immortal battle with the Red Baron. Linus and Sally have other plans…Halloween is the night of the Great Pumpkin and this year Linus and Sally think his belief will be enough to make the Great Pumpkin find their pumpkin patch.
After the success of A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown had a big challenge of making another successful show. Written by Charles M. Schulz and directed by Bill Melendez, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown succeeded and has had the staying power to keep the cartoon on the air for over forty years.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a classic for children but also adults. Like horror movies, old and new, The Great Pumpkin is a holiday tradition and generations have gathered around the television to watch it on October nights. Originally airing on CBS, the rights were won by ABC in 2001. At points the show has been shorted for time, but most scenes have been restored with videos and DVDs.
What works in The Great Pumpkin (much like A Charlie Brown Christmas) is that it ties into what it was like to enjoy a holiday…I was always so excited when The Great Pumpkin came on…it marked the start of the holidays and the served as a reminder of the upcoming holidays seasons Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Dolly Madison commercials and all; it is childhood.
The Peanut characters reflect these childhood perspectives. They have the excitement of free candy and creepy Halloween nights. Linus’ belief in the Great Pumpkin is blind. Every year the Great Pumpkin doesn’t come, but the next year Linus and Lucy are back in the pumpkin patch with the Vince Guaraldi music playing…it is comforting…it is Halloween.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)
It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown (1992)