Why The Great Pumpkin Is Still The Best Halloween Special Ever

Why The Great Pumpkin Is Still The Best Halloween Special Ever

48 years on, the Peanuts special is the pinnacle of a genre.

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I never saw this. Again; wrong country I guess. Snoopy was not hugely popular over here. We knew he existed, but he was not on TV or comic book shelfs.

But I do think I somehow saw some fragments of this many years ago. Doesn't the Great Pumpkin (almost) kill one or all of them?

Kenjitsuka:
I never saw this. Again; wrong country I guess. Snoopy was not hugely popular over here. We knew he existed, but he was not on TV or comic book shelfs.

But I do think I somehow saw some fragments of this many years ago. Doesn't the Great Pumpkin (almost) kill one or all of them?

No, the great pumpkin doesn't exist.

Peanuts does disappointment, not horror.

Kenjitsuka:
I never saw this. Again; wrong country I guess. Snoopy was not hugely popular over here. We knew he existed, but he was not on TV or comic book shelfs.

But I do think I somehow saw some fragments of this many years ago. Doesn't the Great Pumpkin (almost) kill one or all of them?

You are thinking of an episode of Robot Chicken which spoofs this, which is itself pretty funny.

I watched this for the first time in like two decades just a year or two ago. Its kind of amazing how much more depressing the whole special feels now that I am older. But that is Charlie Brown for ya'. It does "get" Halloween though.

Snoopy's dogfight against the Red Baron is awesome.

blackaesir:

Kenjitsuka:
I never saw this. Again; wrong country I guess. Snoopy was not hugely popular over here. We knew he existed, but he was not on TV or comic book shelfs.

But I do think I somehow saw some fragments of this many years ago. Doesn't the Great Pumpkin (almost) kill one or all of them?

You are thinking of an episode of Robot Chicken which spoofs this, which is itself pretty funny.

I watched this for the first time in like two decades just a year or two ago. Its kind of amazing how much more depressing the whole special feels now that I am older. But that is Charlie Brown for ya'. It does "get" Halloween though.

Snoopy's dogfight against the Red Baron is awesome.

The Simpsons made a Treehouse of Horror about "the great pumpkin" ,too.
Was really good.

OT:
Though I am WAY too young that Peanuts was a real thing, it is still a beloved thing of my childhood, mostly newspaper comic strips.
And the great pumpkin has a special place.
Thanks for reminding us how great this was, Bob.

blackaesir:

Kenjitsuka:
I never saw this. Again; wrong country I guess. Snoopy was not hugely popular over here. We knew he existed, but he was not on TV or comic book shelfs.

But I do think I somehow saw some fragments of this many years ago. Doesn't the Great Pumpkin (almost) kill one or all of them?

You are thinking of an episode of Robot Chicken which spoofs this, which is itself pretty funny.

There is also the segment "It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse" from Treehouse of Horror XIX in which Milhouse takes on the Linus role. The Grand Pumpkin comes to life and takes revenge on Springfield after learning of all of the "pumpkin atrocities": carving pumpkins, roasting seeds, etc.

My favourite part of the whole thing is the revelation that pumpkins are racist:

Nelson: Touch me and I'll cut your friend.
Grand Pumpkin: What do I care. That's a yellow pumpkin.
Nelson: You're a racist!
Grand Pumpkin: All pumpkins are racist. The difference is I admit it.

Followed by the Grand Pumpkin's dying words:
"Pumpkin segregation forever!!"

My (nearly) two year old daughter has been watching this DVD with my wife and I every night for the past week. She is still learning to talk but she knows all the characters names delights in every moment of this cartoon (you should seriously see her face when the Red Baron takes flight.)

So yeah... Having a cartoon that I can both love and respect as an animator, and can share with my family on a nightly basis this time of year is absolutely incredible. You don't have any arguments here.

Okay, I am going to sound like a heartless bastard or whatever for saying this, but...

I never liked Peanuts.

I'm sorry, but I just never found it that entertaining or funny.

Poor Charlie Brown. That kid's gonna grow up to be a ticking time bomb. And yes, I'm aware Family Guy did a cutaway gag with that premise.
If Linus did make up the Great Pumpkin, it was probably to get out trick-or-treating with Lucy. Christ, what a bitch she was.
Also, what kind of sick bastard gives a kid a ROCK instead of, well, anything edible for their trick-or-treating?! That's just begging for a broken window.

Oh that music, that gentle jaunty music.

Truly Charlie Brown is the ubernebbish of popular culture.

marioandsonic:
Okay, I am going to sound like a heartless bastard or whatever for saying this, but...

I never liked Peanuts.

I'm sorry, but I just never found it that entertaining or funny.

Same. It was definitely one of those things that got a lot of traction because there just wasn't anything else out there. An entire generation foisted it on their kids in an eyerolling case of nostalgia goggles, and therefore because those kids saw it, it became nostalgic for them as well and put it on their kids. It's basically manufactured nostalgia at this point. I guess there are worse things, but good god I can't sit through even ten seconds of it without immediately losing my patience. It is not that deep or appreciable guys, sorry.

It's taken many years for me to realize that Lucy is far and beyond my favorite Peanuts character.

She's mean-spirited, self-obsessed, and nagging, but small blips of compassion occasionally bleed through. The best character beat from this special is her waking up early in the morning, fully aware that her little brother would be out in the pumpkin patch, near frozen to death. It is implied that this has happened a few times before. She tends to make me chuckle even today.

But part of what always made Peanuts so influential is that it understood that disappointment is one of the fundamental emotions of childhood - that "growing up" and "living on after disappointment" are effectively the same thing

I think this is part of why I was never fond of Charlie Brown (and the Halloween Special in particular) when I was younger.

I remember, right after Charles Schultz died, some dark-humor magazine or other ran a comic showing all the Peanuts characters CELEBRATING Schultz's death, because now their lives might not be so horrible.

You know what I always found amusing? That the character who has literally made up his own Santa Claus-esque myth whole cloth, yet believes in it wholeheartedly, and occasionally refers to it in terms that parallel real-world religion and were clearly meant that way... is also the one overtly-Christian character that the writer used as a mouthpiece for his own religious beliefs.

I don't know what to make of that, honestly, but it's strangely fascinating.

Darth_Payn:
Also, what kind of sick bastard gives a kid a ROCK instead of, well, anything edible for their trick-or-treating?! That's just begging for a broken window.

I know right? I mean, it's like they were giving him the incentive to throw the rock back at their window or something!

OT: You know, after I got done watching this special off my VHS copy, I went on Youtube to see if that one Charlie Brown parody was still on there...


Ah... What a classic...

Other than that, I would say that this Peanuts special is one of the best Halloween-related specials, especially as one you can see with your whole family and then some...

 

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