In order to fulfill my vow, to blog everyday, for the rest of my life, or the end of October -- which ever comes first -- I'll be giving you my thoughts on all my favorite aspects of Halloween. Because, I know you're dying to read them. In that spirit, here are my thoughts on the Greatest Halloween Special of all time: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
A caveat: While this is my favorite Halloween show, this may be a generational thing. When I first started watching this annually, it was back in the late 70's, when there were no DVD players (or VCR's for that matter) and no one had cable -- you just watched whatever came on TV, or else you didn't watch TV. Right.
Anyway, about a year ago, I was stunned to find that my best friend's kids had not seen It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. So, I gushed about what a great show it is, and how they were missing out, and how their lives just wouldn't be complete, without seeing this movie. I may have oversold it. Aaron's oldest daughter found out, at school shortly thereafter, that they would be seeing the movie, and she was stoked. Her reaction after viewing (she was nine, at the time)? "Dad, tell your friend, Chris, that that was the dumbest movie of all time!"
But, I love this movie! I am a big Peanuts fan, I've loved them since I was a kid. I have a great affinity for Charlie Brown. I've often felt -- accurately or not -- that I have a little black cloud, following me, everywhere I go. I actually see myself as some kind of mutation of Charlie Brown and Linus.
What I love about this greatest of all Halloween Specials:
1. I love the fact that when Lucy is reading the TV Guide, there is a picture of...Lucy on the cover. That just cracks me up.
2. I love the fact that Linus and Lucy Van Pelt remind me of my two oldest kids.
3. I love the fact that when Lucy gets frustrated with Linus, she shakes him and his eyes roll around in his head -- and it sounds just like the mixing marble in a can of spray paint.
4. I love the fact that when the gang goes trick or treating, everyone gets candy or gum or money. Except Charlie Brown, who gets a rock. Four times. They must have needed to fill some time on the cartoon.
5. I love Charlie Brown's costume. His ghost costume is a sheet full of holes, for which his explanation is "I had a little trouble with the scissors." Who has that much trouble with scissors? You're reading his blog.
6. Sally cracks me up. She's so devoted to Linus, who is only devoted to the Great Pumpkin. I love it when she asks Charlie Brown if trick-or-treating is legal, because she wouldn't want to be "accused of participating in a rumble." And the best is when an indignant Sally, after spending a wasted night in the pumpkin patch (the most sincere pumpkin patch in the world) screams at Linus "YOU OWE ME RESTITUTION!!" That line kills me.
7. I've always wondered about Linus' hair -- is it combed forward or backward?
8. And I think the funniest part of the whole show -- and also touching, in it's own way -- is when Lucy wakes up at 4am, the day after Halloween, and realizes that Linus is missing. She goes out and finds him, asleep and shivering, in the pumpkin patch. She tenderly wraps his blanket around his shoulders, and leads him home, where she tucks him into bed. A very touching moment. But, I can't help wondering...WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS?!!!
So there you have it, eight good reasons to watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
I love this movie.
And so do you.