One late October evening when I was in my first fall semester of college, my mom called me, said, “Charlie Brown is on,” and hung up. I knew immediately what she meant. I had to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the adorable animated seasonal special based on Charles M. Schulz’s cartoon Peanuts. My mom had grown up watching it and the annual Great Pumpkin observation had become a family tradition.
The TV special was originally released in 1966, just days before Halloween. Watching the special has been a tradition for a few generations, and it’s one of those special gems that charms little kids as well as big kids. If you have a family and are looking for ideas for a new tradition, I recommend gathering your family, warming up some cider, popping some popcorn, and snuggling under blankets while you wrap yourself and your family in the warm fuzzies. Maybe your kiddos can write letters to the Great Pumpkin!
The movie is about the character Linus trying to convince his friends of the existence of the Great Pumpkin, the Halloween spirit that brings joy to the kids who believe in him. Linus’s enthusiasm and his friends’ disbelief engages kids. We all had moments as kids when we felt like Linus with a strong belief or the other kids who were too cool to believe. The Great Pumpkin story always gets me in the Halloween mood despite having no scares or even creepy moments at all. It is just charming and dear. Everyone loves Charlie Brown, and one of my favorite trick-or-treat moments is when Charlie Brown, ever the loser, finds that he has rocks in his treat bag instead of candy: “I got a rock.” It might be the most “Charlie Brown” of Charlie Brown moments.
You won’t be disappointed if you queue up this adorable movie for a cuddly night in. ABC is showing it on October 19th this year so be sure to watch for it.Follow us on social media and subscribe to the show: