Sunday, October 30, 2011
God might be dead, but the Great Pumpkin will live forever. That’s one of many important life-lessons you learn from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the iconic Peanuts Halloween special in which Linus preaches his suspicious belief system to a community of big-headed skeptics. There is a lot to love about this special — the jazzy score, the gorgeously minimal animation, the lengthy tangent in which Snoopy play-acts a World War I melodrama (complete with an extended piano sequence that can only be described as Lynchian). But there’s one thing thing that sets Great Pumpkin apart from all other Halloween specials: It never tries to be scary. There are no spooky monsters, no shocks, nothing to make you afraid of the dark. There’s just a little boy, alone in a pumpkin patch, trying to fight away the creeping suspicion that humanity is actually alone in the universe. Actually, now that we think about it, that’s really scary. Join us as we read entirely too much into the story of a boy and his best friend: a pumpkin who doesn’t exist.