It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

snoopy great pumpkin“Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker” and other life proverbs.

 

Just for the record, I’m convinced that Lucy is the Peanuts equivalent of Satan.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was the third TV special from Charles Schulz and Bill Melendez, and they were under a lot of pressure. The network told them that if this one wasn’t a blockbuster like A Charlie Brown Christmas then they might not be ordering any more Peanuts specials.

Thankfully, it was a huge hit.

Not only that, but the Snoopy flying ace sequence itself ended up becoming a cultural icon. In fact by the time NASA launched Apollo 10 into outer space a few years later, Snoopy had been adopted as its semi-official mascot.

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: Looking back on my own childhood, the real fright of Halloween night was never roaming the streets in the darkness surrounded by an assortment of gruesome masked monsters and blood-dripping zombies. No, the actual terror was the fear instilled in me by my mother that at least one of our neighbors—perhaps several—were sneaking razor blades into my candy. Pale, anxious, and dripping with sweat, I would meticulously feel each individual piece of candy I acquired, tossing aside several questionable tootsie rolls that felt a bit too firm by any reasonable standard. Yes, there was also that likely chance that my fingers could get sliced off in this candy-pinching process, but when you’re dealing with free chocolate as a child, a few missing appendages would have been but a trivial price to pay.

great pumpkin peanuts cartoonCharles Schulz definitely had a gift for simplifying the complicated realities of life. And I think this unpretentious cartoon has a very sweet, appealing message to it.

Here was a little boy who was completely devoted to an unseen being known as the Great Pumpkin — a being who supposedly rivaled Santa Claus himself in spreading benevolent holiday cheer.

But regardless of whether or not his faith in the Great Pumpkin was misplaced, nobody could argue the unwavering sincerity of Linus.

His belief was not based on social expectations or mere habit. On the contrary, his convictions ran so deep that he continued to wait for the Great Pumpkin long after people stopped noticing.

Can we say the same about the beliefs we ourselves hold dear in life? Or do we gradually abandon those principles when the mocking escalates?

Happy Halloween, and wherever your faith resides, may it be half as sincere as that of Linus and his pumpkin patch.

Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity…” — Joshua 24:14

 

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