GREAT PUMPKIN

Stars 5/5

As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, the Charlie Brown Halloween special won’t grace our TVs this year unless you have a subscription to the Apple TV+ streaming service. 

If you’re a fan of the classics, you might be a little sad to find out that “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” will not be found on regular cable networks this Halloween season. I know I didn’t take this news too well. Growing up, I always watched the Charlie Brown holiday specials, and they have become my own little tradition. I’m a sucker for anything that brings nostalgia even if these shows came out decades before I was born. These cartoon classics defined the holiday season, and I’m hoping that the outrage among fans is enough for TV networks to air the Charlie Brown episodes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

The 25-minute holiday special follows the Peanuts gang as they make preparations for Halloween. The real star of this show is Linus Van Pelt, who is getting ready for the visit from the Great Pumpkin. Although Linus is made fun of by his friends and his older sister Lucy, he doesn’t give up hope that the Great Pumpkin will appear on Halloween night.

Much like Santa Claus on Christmas, the Great Pumpkin will come out on Halloween to bring toys and treats to good girls and boys who believe. Linus stays up in the pumpkin patch all Halloween night waiting for the Great Pumpkin to make its grand arrival. 

While Linus is anticipating the arrival of the supernatural pumpkin, Charlie Brown and his friends go trick-or-treating. Everyone but Lucy dresses up like a bedsheet ghost showing that this Halloween episode was light years ahead of the Tik Tok trend. The friends go door to door and come back with a bounty of candy except for Charlie Brown, who is given a rock by each house. 

After collecting all the candy (and rocks), everyone goes to a Halloween party. Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s dog, tries to crash the party, but he doesn’t stay for long. As Snoopy wanders out of the party, he walks through the pumpkin patch where Linus is camping out. Linus thinks that the Great Pumpkin has finally risen for Halloween and passes out from excitement. 

When he awakes, he is still convinced that the Great Pumpkin is going to come and eventually falls asleep in the patch clutching his baby blue blanket. Lucy arrives late in the night to retrieve her little brother and get him to bed. You’d think Linus would wake up the next day disappointed, but instead he goes off on a tangent about how the Great Pumpkin will return next year on Halloween, which makes Charlie Brown roll his eyes at Linus’ claims.   

Though it originally aired in 1966, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is a timeless classic that should be watched every Halloween season despite your age. For me, it brings nostalgia and lets me know that we’re about to start the exciting holiday season. If you really want to watch this TV special, you can start a free trial of Apple TV+ to watch the show. You could also try to find it free online but be wary of shady free movie websites. 

Although I’m upset about the cancellation of my Halloween tradition, I’m not surprised that something like this would happen this year. Many other fans of this TV special have also voiced their outrage and there has been petitions circulating on the internet to bring the show back to its primetime spot. Much like Linus hoped for the Great Pumpkin, I hoped I would get to watch this Peanuts episode on TV. Like Linus said, there’s always next year, and hopefully the Great Pumpkin will make its triumphant return to our TVs in 2021.

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