Monday, October 6, 2008

I got a rock

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.


Wendy said...

I love this too and I do remember it coming on every year. We would look in the TV Guide to see when it was on. I still find myself quoting Charlie Brown on Halloween when I ask the kids what they got! "Oh! You got a rock!"
I think kids now are used to more bells and whistles and have a hard time appreciating simple technology. I have to admit..I think the same thing when I see the old Star Trek episodes compared to the "new" ones. But, I agree with you...the time honored tradition of Charlie Brown should be on every families watch list for the holiday!! Thanks for the reminder! PS...I think I might have more Lucy traits that I would want!

Aaron said...

"Dumbest movie ever" was the funniest line ever. It was like watching my daughter hold the football for you then yanking it out before you could get the satisfaction.....sorry but it was funny.

stefanie said...

I did not appreciate the humor in Charlie Brown until I was a teenager. I found it so frustrating. My kids are much smarter than I am so they got it a lot younger than I did.

The Great Pumpkin is great, but Charlie Brown Christmas is still my favorite. We quote Sally, 'All I want is what I... I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.' and Lucy, 'You know, Santa Claus and ho-ho-ho, and mistletoe and presents to pretty girls...' pretty much year round.

Gonna have to set TiVo now, so we can wait for the Great Pumpkin on our own terms.

Straight to Your Hart said...

I love this movie..Hubby not so much..It's almost Iconic. The whole where are the parents..I have always wondered that..even as a little one (I also at that age wondered what it would be like without mine..good thing I saw that as a wee tot and not a teenager)!

Alex @ I'm the Mom said...

I love that movie!! lol.

I tagged you over at my blog Chris :-) When you have time, go check it out.

Cecily R said...

Aaron's comment made me laugh. Probably because I would have laughed if Gracie said something like that...

Evie's tiny little sling had the Peanuts characters on it. I think watching The Great Pumpkin this year might giver broken arm nightmares...but it IS a classic.

Cecily R said...

I meant give HER broken arm nightmares. Sorry. Loooooong night.

Mandy said...

I too LOVE this one! Thankfully my kids do too. I was just thinking about this movie today and here's your post, too funny.

BTW- favorite book, Adventure's of Tom Sawyer? Really? I just read this to my boys and they loved it too. I didn't quite get why they loved it so much but maybe it is a guy book?

imbeingheldhostage said...

I might've made the same mistake--I oversold this to my kids... you should've seen the looks on their faces. My husband and I frequently throw out "I got a rock" and crack ourselves up.

I'm loving your halloween theme, btw and have learned all sorts of stuff about movies that I never noticed before. It's like you're doing a public service for your not-as-observant readers :-)