Some things are timeless.
Like jumping into a pile of freshly-raked autumn leaves, carving pumpkins, and faith.
A piano plays a familiar tune and we see cartoon feet shuffle across the screen. A pumpkin
larger than the kid pushing it rolls along, on its way to becoming a jack-o-lantern. This is how we
know it's almost Halloween.
The animated short film is older than I am; born in 1966 to the writing of Charles M. Schulz and the
directing of Bill Melendez. It is classic Peanuts--bigger than you or I and an institution of its own.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
"Every year on Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he
thinks is the most sincere and flies through the air with his pack of toys for all the good little
children in the world." This year, Linus will see him. He will keep the faith and
wait, like the devout and pious Peanut that he is, for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. He's already
found the most sincerest pumpkin patch around.
For 25 minutes we celebrate Halloween with the Peanuts gang. We laugh when Lucy Van Pelt bobs for
apples and kisses Snoopy, instead. Dog germs! Blech! We sympathize with Charlie Brown when all the other kids get
candy when they Trick-or-Treat, while he gets rock after rock. Most importantly, though, we
identify with Linus, who is struggling with his childlike faith and the cynicism of the world around him.
The Vince Guaraldi Trio's "Great Pumpkin Waltz" gives a whole new meaning to chilly evenings,
cool costumes, warm socks and hot apple cider. And, while Santa Claus does have better publicity,
nothing's better than an afternoon spent believing in the Great Pumpkin.
Charlie Brown Peter Robbins
Linus Christopher Shea
Lucy Sally Dryer
Peppermint Patty Lisa DeFaria
Sally Cathy Steinberg
Schroeder Chris Doran
Snoopy Bill Melendez
All hail imbd.com