It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Movie review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Movie Poster Image
Halloween isn't complete without this classic.
  • NR
  • 2000
  • 25 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 19 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Sticking to your beliefs no matter what others may think. Themes include empathy, integrity, and perseverance.

Positive Role Models & Representations

For all of Lucy's outward disapproval of her brother, Linus, and his silly Great Pumpkin, she asks for extra candy for him and wakes up in the middle of the night to fetch him from the pumpkin patch and put him to bed.

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.

Sexy Stuff

Very mild. Lucy's lips touch dog lips -- very unintentionally. Sally tells Linus "If you hold my hand, I'll slug you."

Language

Lots of Charlie Brown-speak: "stupid," "blockhead," and "good grief!"

Consumerism

No brand-name Halloween candy.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a Peanuts classic that appeals to all ages. It promotes many favorite American Halloween traditions like trick-or-treating and apple bobbing, not to mention the infamous Great Pumpkin (who must have missed Linus' pumpkin patch somehow). When Snoopy dresses up as a WWI flying ace, he hams it up during a pretend battle atop his dog house -- complete with flying bullets. Some of the Halloween imagery (ghosts, skeletons) may alarm the very youngest viewers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written byJ T November 2, 2010

Doesn't send a good message to young kids on how to treat others with repect.

I've watched this movie classic since I was a child and can't believe the horrible message it's sending out to children on how poorly they treat... Continue reading
Parent Written bymyab October 14, 2010

Can Watch With Any Age Level

My family loves this movie. Great family fun, and one line ("I got a rock") has become family catch phrase. My son wants to dress up in Charlie Brow... Continue reading
Kid, 2 years old December 19, 2011

"you stupid blockhead"

In the 70s/80s this movie was awesome. We let my 3 yr old watch it, and should have pre-screened, as it is just a bunch of kids fighting and taunting and callin... Continue reading
Kid, 4 years old November 11, 2011

Too many unkindnesses that I didn't remember

I was so excited to show this classic to my girls! And then, every other word out of Lucy's mouth was "stupid". I have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr ol... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's almost Halloween, and the optimism is infectious in IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN. Linus (voiced by Christopher Shea) is crafting his letter to the Great Pumpkin (think Santa in a pumpkin patch), Charlie Brown (Peter Robbins) is thrilled about being invited to a party, and Lucy (Sally Dryer) has the perfect witchy costume. No one believes Linus' tales of the Great Pumpkin's visit -- Sally (Kathy Steinberg) wants to, though, so she decides to spend the night waiting with Linus in the pumpkin patch. Charlie Brown, in his ghost costume that looks more like a potato, trick-or-treats all night, and all he has to show for it is a bag of rocks. Lucy bobs for apples and comes up with a beagle kiss -- blech!

Is it any good?

You can almost smell the donuts, cider, and piles of leaves on a crisp fall day when you start watching this classic Peanuts Halloween special. Generations of trick-or-treaters have grown up on It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. One of the most memorable images isn't the arrival of the Great Pumpkin (maybe next year, Linus), but rather of Snoopy hamming it up atop his red dog house as a WWI flying ace -- he takes his costume very seriously. He's so in character that he doesn't realize when he walks from the French countryside he's conjured up for himself into the Halloween party.

One of the sweetest moments is when Lucy retrieves a shivering Linus from the pumpkin patch and puts him to bed. It's a difficult end to the holiday for Linus, but he wakes up the next morning determined to wait in the pumpkin patch all over again, just like so many Peanuts fans will come back to this gem year after year.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what their favorite Halloween traditions are -- for some families it's watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. 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?

  • How do the Peanuts characters in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown demonstrate empathy, integrity, and perseverance? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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