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31 Days of Horror Day 27: A Halloween Classic for the Kids

Hey Everybody, Rick here.  Let's slow things down a bit here...

These past 29 days have been filled chock full of some of my favorite horror movies.  The list can seriously go on and on but I think, for this, the penultimate edition of 31 Days of Horror, I am going to discuss one of my favorite Halloween traditions...

This time of year is a special one for me. It is around the date the my wife and I got married, it is haunt season and it is the one time out of the year that I can get away with watching horror films as much as the hell I want.  Above the latter two though, one annual tradition is something that stands out above the rest. A tradition so powerful that when Molly and I went on our honeymoon to Disney World, we made it a point to leave the parks early just so that we could watch "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!"

What is it about this classic holiday cartoon that makes it so beloved? Is it the plight Charlie Brown displays where he goes Trick Or Treating and instead of candy, he gets a rock? Is it his joy at being invited to a Halloween Party? Or is it the fact that we, very much like Linus hope against hope that this will be the year that he finally gets to see the Great Pumpkin?  People will say that it's all of the above.  I am inclined to agree.

Charlie Brown's plight is particularly heartfelt among audiences.  According to Wikipedia:

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."

Snoopy absolutely steals the show as a WWI flying ace hunting down the Red Baron. It is a wonderful sequence and extremely funny. The follow up where Snoopy makes Schroeder play WWI era music on his piano is a hoot.

Nothing however comes close to the main crux of the show which is the determination of one little boy who believes so much in this imaginary character the Great Pumpkin only to experience his disappointment when it never happens.

The hope that Linus displays that he will be seeing the Great Pumpkin is so innocent and powerful to the viewers that we can't help but hope along with him that this will be the year.  His disappointment when instead it's Snoopy dressed as a WWI flying ace that is revealed to be the alleged Great Pumpkin is shared by the audience as well.

There is a part in all of us that secretly wishes that this cartoon will end differently. We wish that Charlie Brown would be able to get his ghost costume done right and get more than a rock on Halloween. We secretly and desperately desire that Linus will get his wish and finally get to see the Great Pumpkin. This is mandatory Halloween viewing every year. If it's your first time, or your hundreth time. This is an absolute classic and it deserves its place.

It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown airs tonight on ABC at 8p.m. Eastern and Pacific and 7 p.m. Central.  

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