What does a grown 58-year old woman find herself doing two nights before Halloween? Watching It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.
This Charlie Brown classic first aired on October 27, 1966 when I was seven years old and in the second grade. I still remember sitting in front of the TV set with my sisters and sometimes neighborhood friends and watching it every year. These were of course the days before VCRs and VHS tapes and so it was such a special treat watching it once a year when it was on TV (something I’m not sure today’s kids will ever truly understand). It was something we all looked forward to. When my children came along and were old enough, they watched it too. And of course when it did come out on VHS, I bought it, and later the DVD. I seriously don’t think I’ve missed watching it on TV in 51 years.
Last night, I thought about how much is “wrong” with this special when you really stop to think about it. But still I love it and despite having the DVD, there’s just something special about watching it on TV when it’s aired (I guess it’s the kid in me and I’ve always been into tradition).
I always loved Linus rolling the pumpkin to the house in the beginning.
Remember the Halloween costumes they made and wore? Last night, for the first time perhaps, I noticed that there sure wasn’t much variety in those costumes. How did I not notice this little tidbit of information before? I always wondered where Pigpen’s parents were (where any of their parents were for that matter)? And for crying out loud, why didn’t Pigpen’s mother ever teach him proper hygiene?! Ha!
As for poor Charlie Brown, he just couldn’t seem to get a break. From Violet and Lucy using him as a model for a jack-o-lantern (Violet drew a face on the back of his head while Lucy carved the pumpkin with a monster knife– with NO parental supervision of course) to Charlie Brown’s problem with the scissors (all the eye holes in his costume) to him getting all rocks when Trick-or-Treating. I never “got” the rock thing as a kid and always felt bad for him. Now that I think about it, I don’t get it as an adult either. What kind of person gives a kid rocks on Halloween?
I read that the 10-year old little boy who played the voice of Charlie Brown got rocks in real life on Halloween. His neighbors and friends thought it was funny, but he didn’t.
Remember the Halloween party when Lucy bobs for apples? Love it!
And Linus and Sally miss Trick-or-treating because they’re waiting in the pumpkin patch for The Great Pumpkin to appear.
Remember how Linus never gave up believing and Lucy had to go outside at 4 am and get him to bring him inside to bed. Wait, what? Again, where were the parents letting their kid stay out all hours sleeping in a pumpkin patch? Really????
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is a Halloween classic I love to watch (despite the obvious lack of parenting theme that occurs throughout). It will always be one of my favorites. Isn’t it interesting to see how far animation has come?