“Ohh, you didn’t tell me you were going to kill it!”
So are the first words of this great half hour Halloween special that defines Halloween.
As all right thinking people know, on Halloween night the Great Pumpkin rises from the pumpkin patch that is most sincere, flies around the world and gives presents to all the children of the world.
One of the reasons this is the best Halloween film is because this is in the end a holiday for children, or at least the inner child in all of us. It is a holiday based on make believe and imagination (which is why so much of it is dedicated to Snoopy’s always over active imagination). Halloween has been stripped of any religious (pagan or otherwise) trappings it once had and is now only a night of imagination. A night when we can be anyone we imagine (although there may be something of a Freudian-slip in our choices, as in Lucy’s choice to be a witch while saying a Halloween costume should be the opposite of your personality). It is a night to bring out our fears and hopefully confront them (which is why there are so many monsters in the choices of the Peanut’s costumes). It is, and always will be a night of meaningless fun, which is why Peanuts embody the holiday better than any horror film.
Why else do I love this, because I love Charlie Brown. Every place he goes to trick or treat he gets a rock. Does he complain? No. Does he whine? No. Does he demand the others share their candy with him? No. He simply states a fact and stoically accepts. Compare this to Sally’s whining about getting to spend a night with her beloved Linus, threatening to sue, demanding restitution just because she didn’t get to see the Great Pumpkin. The Occupy Wall Street thugs could learn much from Charlie Brown.
And of course there is Linus’ unshakable faith in the Great Pumpkin. It’s admirable, although slightly misplaced on this holiday, and makes us all want to believe in the Great Pumpkin. And even though he has yet to see the Great Pumpkin he still believes–You have to love him for it.