"I got a rock!"
Was there ever any doubt? This is the granddaddy of all Halloween specials. If it weren't for "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", who knows if this blog would even exist right now. Let's all thank Charles Schulz, Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson for creating it.
I decided to hold off on showing this one to my children until they were five, since I thought there were just too many insults in it (see the pictures below), and the other kids tend to mock poor Linus and Charlie Brown. And what about the parents? The only ones who have any presence in the show give poor Charlie Brown rocks! Don't get me wrong, I love this show as much as the next guy. I'm just telling you what went through my mind. Comments?
Happy Halloween, everyone!
- Rating: N/A
- Minimum Recommended Age: 5 (Common Sense Media: On for ages 4 and up, Movie Mom: 7-11, Kids First! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12, Parents Television Council: All Ages, Kaboose: Ages 4 and up)
- Quality Rating: 93.3% (Common Sense Media: 5 stars, Parent Previews Overall Grade: A, Kaboose Star Rating: 5 stars, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 7.3)
- Number of Lists Recommend: 15
From Common Sense Media:
Sexy stuff :
Very mild. Lucy's lips touch dog lips -- very unintentionally. Sally tells Linus "If you hold my hand, I'll slug you."
Violence & scariness:
When Snoopy pretends he's a WWI flying ace atop his dog house, shadows of bullets fly by with sound effects, and he makes gun motions with his front paws. His dog house also goes down behind enemy lines. The opening sequence shows the kids dressed up as ghosts running from skeletons and specters.
Lots of Charlie Brown-speak: "stupid," "blockhead," and "good grief!"
I counted three instances of Lucy calling Linus "stupid" for wanting to wait for the Great Pumpkin instead of trick-or-treating, five instances of calling him a "blockhead", and even threatening him with physical violence ("You'd better cut it out right now or I'll pound you!"). Even Sally emasculates poor Linus when she finds out she missed out on trick-or-treating while waiting with him to see the Great Pumpkin:
Linus: What happened? Did I faint? What did he leave us? Did he leave us any toys?
Sally: You blockhead! You kept me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin! And all that came was a beagle! I was robbed! I spent the whole night waiting for the Great Pumpkin, when I could've been out for tricks or treats! Halloween is over and I've missed it! I didn't get a chance to go out for tricks or treats, and it was all your fault! I'll sue! What a fool I was! I could've had candy apples and gum and cookies and money and all sorts of things, but no, I had to listen to you, you blockhead! What a fool I was. Trick or treats come only once a year, and I missed it by sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead. You owe me restitution!
Linus [to Charlie Brown]: You've heard of about fury in a woman scorned, haven't you?
Charlie Brown: Yes, I guess I have.
Linus: Well, that's nothing compared to a woman who's been cheated out of tricks or treats.
- Running Time: 25 minutes
- What does it have to do with Halloween? If you have to ask, you are obviously reading the wrong blog
This classic "Peanuts" tale focuses on the thumb-sucking, blanket-holding Linus, and his touching faith in the "Great Pumpkin." When Linus discovers that no one else believes in the creature, he sets out to prove that the Pumpkin's no myth -- by spending the night alone in a pumpkin patch.
Watch Out For
Common Sense Media:
Some of the Halloween imagery (ghosts, skeletons) may alarm the very youngest viewers.
The adults are not very nice to Charlie Brown. They keep giving him rocks instead of candy. The kids are not very nice to Charlie Brown either (although it could be an opportunity to talk about bullying, and being nice to others).
"Could I have an extra piece of candy for my stupid brother? He couldn't come with us because he's sitting in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin. It's so embarrassing to have to ask for something extra for that blockhead, Linus."
"I was robbed. I spent the whole night waiting for the Great Pumpkin when I could have been out for tricks or treats. Halloween is over... I've missed it, You blockhead! You've kept me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin and all that came was a beagle. "
"I didn't get a chance to go out for tricks or treats and it was all your fault. I'll sue. What a fool I was. I could have had candy and apples and gum and cookies and money and all sorts of things. But no, I had to listen to you. You blockhead. What a fool I was. Tricks or treats come only once a year and I missed it by sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead. You owe me restitution!"
Talk About It
Common Sense Media:
* Families can talk about what their favorite Halloween traditions are. Have you ever tried apple bobbing? Do you like carving pumpkins? If you could hand out something extra special at Halloween, what would it be?
* Families can also talk about how Snoopy took his Halloween costume so seriously -- and just how funny it is to see him flying his dog house. When you put on your costume, will you get into character? Why or why not?
The Peanuts comic strip success is attributed to the universal nature of character traits depicted by the Snoopy gang. Can you relate to some of these personalities? Which character do you feel is the most like you?
Why do you think Charlie Brown always falls for Lucy’s football trick?
Count the number of trick-or-treaters in each scene. (It's not always the same number.)
- When Linus walks into the room after writing a letter to the Great Pumpkin, Lucy is sitting in front of the TV reading a TV Guide. The picture on the cover of the magazine is a picture of Lucy.
- Actress Kathy Steinberg had almost finished recording all her lines of dialog as Sally when the producers received a phone call from Steinberg's mother informing them that one of Kathy's teeth was loose. Fearing that a sudden lisp would ruin the continuity dialogue, the producers rushed the young actress into the studio to finish recording her lines. Just as Steinberg was speaking her last line, the tooth came flying out of her mouth.
- Charlie Brown's repeated line of "I got a rock" caused some stir among many viewers of the show, according to Charles Schulz in the book and retrospective TV special "Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown". Schulz said that after the program first aired, bags and boxes of candy came in from all over the world "just for Charlie Brown."
Here are two to choose from - the only two that seem to be available online, in fact. Enjoy.