Anybody who's read or watched Peanuts knows that Linus Van Pelt believes in the Great Pumpkin, who (allegedly) rises from the most sincere pumpkin patch in the world and gives presents to all the world's children. So you can guess what happens in "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," an enchanting little Halloween tale with lots of rocks, pumpkins and a World War I flying ace.
Autumn has come, and the Peanuts gang is embracing the season -- carving jack-o-lanterns, jumping into leaf piles (with wet suckers), and Charlie Brown kicking the football. It also means that Linus is writing his yearly letter to the Great Pumpkin and planning to sit in the pumpkin patch being sincere while all the other kids are out trick-or-treating. Since Sally has a crush on him, she plans to sit out there as well.
So while Sally and Linus are out there being sincere (much to the scorn of Lucy), the other kids congregate for a round of rather disappointing trick-or-treating ("I got a rock") before going on to an equally disappointing party. Meanwhile, the World War I flying ace (aka Snoopy) is shot down over enemy lines, and wanders through the French countryside. The real question is: will the Great Pumpkin appear?
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is one of those delightful Peanuts specials that everybody has seen, but somehow they never get stale or boring. And though nothing major or groundbreaking happens here, the humor is in the little running jokes that Charles Schulz littered his series with -- particularly in Linus' deep, devout belief in the Great Pumpkin.
So there's lots of funny dialogue ("You didn't tell me you were gonna kill it!" Linus howls when Lucy starts scooping out pumpkin goop), hilarious scenes (guess who all the little ghosts are!), and the occasional joke that highlights the humorous maturity of the little gang ("Funny thing about this document... it was never notarized"). It's a bit like taking a guided tour of the most fun memories of your childhood.
Sally Brown is especially funny here, since she's a sharp-tongued little firecracker who says... well, whatever's on her mind, while Linus' faith in the Great Pumpkin drives him to brave others' mockery (even though nobody has ever seen the Great Pumpkin, or gotten any toys from him). As for poor Charlie Brown, you can guess how the Halloween festivities go for him.
There's also an extra special on this, "It's Magic, Charlie Brown": Snoopy starts experimenting with magic tricks, but accidentally turns Charlie Brown invisible. Though understandably he's upset about this, Charlie Brown soon realizes that there are some benefits to invisibility.
So to celebrate the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, sit in the most sincere pumpkin patch you can find and watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." When he comes, not IF!