Tuesday, October 19, 2021

31 Days of Scary Movies: “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (1966)

 It was time for one of the lighter— though no less great— selections in the 31 Days of Halloween film project. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” has become an American tradition. And it is easy to see why. The special, based on the characters and comic strip of “Peanuts” by Charles Schultz, is a half hour of endearing, wholesome festive fun for all the tricks and treats on Halloween. 

 The plot is simple. The “Peanuts” gang celebrate fall, and Halloween, and Linus celebrates the tradition he created— or did he— of writing to and waiting in the pumpkin patch on Halloween night for the great pumpkin. 

 Things that struck me while watching again. The animation style is on its own, and at its best in the nighttime scenes, where Charlie Brown trick or treats (and gets his rocks) and Linus waits with Sally in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin. The dark sky on Halloween night seems alive, and it’s a credit to the animators that it looks so good, a character unto itself. There is something like coming home to watching this special every year, and it was very welcomed, perfect, atmospheric shorter fare on an October night. 

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