As Halloween quickly approaches, so are the “spooky” movies and television shows to get us in the festive mood. I have to say that one of my very favorite programs, without a doubt, is: It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.
In 1966, creator Charles Schulz, director-animator Bill Melendez and producer Lee Mendelson introduced this Halloween classic to our televisions and over fifty years later, we still cannot get enough of poor Charlie Brown who received a rock in his treat bag.
In honor of one of my family’s favorite, I’m sharing a few fun facts regarding this adorable Halloween animation.
- Lucy’s signature move – pulling the football away from Chuck as he’s about to kick it, causing him to fly through the air and land on his back – was animated for the first time on this show.
- The image of Snoopy as the “Flying Ace” became a good luck charm for the NASA astronauts during the Apollo space missions. The crew of the Apollo 10 mission even nicknamed their lunar module “Snoopy” and their command module “Charlie Brown”.
- Recording Sally’s lines was a race against time because Kathy Steinberg, the six-year-old behind Sally’s voice, had a loose front tooth. Fearing a lisp would ruin the voiceover work, they rushed to get her lines done. The day after finishing, the tooth fell out.
- Charlie Brown, who always has the worst luck, opens his goodie sack and discovers he has been given rocks instead of candy. According to Schulz, this upset viewers so much that for years his California office was bombarded with sacks of treats addressed to the character.
- Anne Altieri, who portrayed both Violet and Frieda, was so nervous to be part of the show that she threw up every time she was done with a recording session.
- This holiday special was nominated for three Emmy Awards in 1967, including outstanding children’s program.
- Lucy appears twice in one scene! Fans can spot her reading a TV Guide magazine with a picture of herself on the cover.
So make sure you get your family together, make some popcorn and enjoy some Halloween time with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang!