Halloween Adventures 03

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

A complete breakdown

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If you live in America, you have probably seen It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown so many times that you can almost repeat the script word for word (you can’t, but you might think you can).

The special first hit the airwaves October 27, 1966 because the networks asked for another Charlie Brown special after the massive success of A Charlie Brown Christmas.  However, the Great Pumpkin storyline debuted in Peanuts comics almost seven years earlier in the October 27, 1959 strip.

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While The Great Pumpkin has been relevant and a repeating gag every Halloween season in the comic strip (Linus has gotten everyone from Sally, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty and even Snoopy to wait in the pumpkin patch for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin), television viewers have annually sat in front of their television at some point in October (airings have varied from early October to Halloween night) to digest the half hour of Charlie Brown’s woes and Linus’ mixing up his holidays.  Let no one lie to you, no matter how many copies of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown you have on VHS or DVD, there is nothing comparable to watching it on TV live.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is the only Halloween special to be regularly aired since its inception.  A lot of Halloween specials were made and aired for a number of years in the 1970s and 80s (A Garfield Halloween may be the most prominent).  After outlasting such specials as The Fat Albert Halloween special or Halloween is Grinch Night, The Great Pumpkin is now being aired next to Toy Story and Shrek Halloween specials ensuring yet another generation gets addicted.peanutsopening

I’ve said this before and I am sure that I will say this again — nothing perfectly encapsulates Halloween night like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. From the scratchy colored backgrounds to the downplayed and eerie soundtrack, if I could spend every Halloween night as the Peanuts gang does, I would live a fulfilled life.

When you’ve seen The Great Pumpkin as many times as I have, you start noticing the tiniest things about every such moment in the special. For example, my first statement watching the special this year was that they edited out the football scene.  Indeed, in 2014, two scenes were cut to knock the 25 minute special down to 22 minutes.  In 2014, Charlie Brown did not try to kick the football only to have Lucy pull it away at the very last minute.  To complement that, Snoopy didn’t have his emotion wrought dance with Schroeder at the Halloween party.  Over the years, The Great Pumpkin has gone through many variations to make room for broadcast partners (this year for Toy Story of Terror) or even had extra commercials to push the run time for the special to an hour.  You don’t last 48 years without some manipulation.

My knowledge of The Great Pumpkin aside, there are still questions to be answered!

Why are the people in this town such assholes?

maxresdefaultWho gives kids (or specifically, one prematurely balding child) a rock for Halloween?  I’ve handed candy to kids several times on Halloween night.  Never did I hide rocks underneath the Milky Ways or gum.  Thanks to the kind people of the world, Charlie Brown has gotten plenty of candy over the years as many viewers would mail candy to the studio in care of Charlie Brown to make sure he didn’t try to eat those damn rocks. Just a thought, Charlie Brown, if you’re just going to get rock every single year for Halloween anyway, why not just wait in the pumpkin patch with Linus — just in case.  Can’t hurt, right?

A free idea to costume companies:  Instead of trying to make a hot dog into a “sexy” costume, why don’t you make a costume of a sheet ghost with a bunch of black circles (representing holes) that come complete with a bag of rocks?  Call it “Bad Luck Trick or treater.”

On the flip side of this, who gives out quarters to random kids?  I have 60-70 trick-or-treaters every Halloween night.  That could get expensive!

Charlie Brown is a bad brother.

Linus spends every Halloween in the pumpkin patch waiting for the great pumpkin.  As much of a bitch as she may be, at least Lucy has the balls to ask people for an extra piece of candy for her “stupid brother.”  Sally is tricked by love into staying the night in the pumpkin patch, but Charlie Brown does not go the extra mile for his little sis.  Then again, if all he is going to get is a bag of rocks, she may be better off!

Who is the person who opens the door for Snoopy, the World War I flying ace?

This is going to sound ridiculous because this bothered me for ten years before I finally figured it out.  As sad as I am to admit it — that is not even an exaggeration. Shortly after showing off their costumes (all of them are ghosts.  Some of them are ghosts with masks on — Halloween costumes weren’t very creative in the 60s), Snoopy walks by the kids in his costume — that of a World War I flying ace!  As Snoopy leaves, one kid shows the proper respect by holding the door open for him and saluting.

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As you can see, this kid is in the regular ghost attire.  He is not one of the kids with the mask or the kid with the coonskin cap.  He isn’t Charlie Brown because he doesn’t have wholes all over his sheet.  He isn’t Pigpen because he doesn’t have dirt all around him.  Our only clue as to the identity of the kid is the light orange sleeve that pokes out of the sheet. After many years of research (ie, watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown), I deduced it’s the kid in the light orange shirt standing behind Pigpen at the Halloween party in this scene.  More on Pigpen in a minute.

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But…who is this kid?  His name is 5.  His proper name is 555-95472.  You see, 5′s parents got to feeling like they were nothing but a number to the government, so they literally renamed themselves after numbers.   Check out this dancing picture from the Christmas special below.  He’s the kid with the weird eagle-like dance.  The two girls who look identical with the stringy hair around him?  Those are his sisters, the twins — named 3 and 4, respectively.

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Even 5′s page in the Peanuts Wiki mentions he has a small non-speaking role in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Pigpen wears glasses?!!

My new dilemma surrounds the dirtiest boy anyone knows, none other than Pigpen.  Pigpen is a one off joke that somehow lasted the entire run of Peanuts. He’s seen several times throughout the special, but check out this picture from the party one more time.

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Notice something different?  Yeah, Pigpen is wearing fucking glasses!  WTF?!!  At no other time during the comic strip run or any of the other animated specials does Pigpen ever sport four eyes.  You can’t even claim he’s in costume because 1) we saw his costume earlier in the program and 2) no one is in costume anymore.   I am sure this is nothing more than an animation mistake, but it bothers me to no end!  A quick search of the internet tells me I am not the only one.

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There’s about 1300 words on It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  Hopefully, it puts you into the season as much as it does me!

 

 

 

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Halloween Adventures 02

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MICKEY’S NOT-SO-SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY

After the blood, guts and gore of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, if you thought Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party was going to be much tamer — you’d be right!  It’s a different, but fun sort of an add on to your theme park ticket.

Disney Honeymoon 653At the bewitching hour of 7, the Magic Kingdom closes for those not so lucky to have a ticket to the party.  While the party is going on, a fraction of the regular populous of the Magic Kingdom has free reign over around 80% of the attractions that are still open for the event.

The Ghost Host of Haunted Mansion fame takes over the park designating it time for the festivities to begin.  The entire park’s lighting scheme changes and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party begins.

For the most part, the party lived up to it’s name of not being so scary, but more Halloween themed without the blood and gore. I understand horror fans reading this may think that’s blasphemous, but as I’ve said on the podcast several times, I don’t understand the correlation that everything Halloween has to be about bloody body parts. The scariest thing about the Halloween party were the cast members (for those uninitiated, that’s what Disney calls it’s employees).  To ensure no one stayed in the park without the proper wrist bands, cast members literally form a human line in each area and take slow steps in unison. If you have a band, you can pass.  If you do not, you can not pass and eventually the line would lead you out of the park. Effective, but still kind of a scary visual.

Perks of the Halloween party are numerous.

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1. There are a bunch of characters meet and greets exclusive to the Halloween party.  It’s the best time to get pictures with a lot of the villains as naturally, this is their time to shine.  The two most popular meet and greets that only come out for the Halloween party are the chance to meet Jack Skellington and his girl, Sally and the change to get your picture taken with all seven dwarves at once!  My main goal at the party was to get in line for Skellington as I had heard the line to meet him and his lady had reached upwards of three hours in the past.  We got in line at six (with the party starting at seven) and lucky for us, it started raining.  I know that doesn’t sound lucky, but the good folks at Disney didn’t want us standing all night in the rain, so they let us start chumming it up with the Pumpkin King an hour early — of course, assuming you had the add-on wrist band.

2. The Halloween party brings with it, it’s own set of merchandise because no one knows how to get your money better than Disney.  One of the most sought after pieces is actually free. Disney World has it’s own card game (Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom) that you can collect cards for and play for free. While supplies last, you can get a special Halloween themed card for the game that is only available for those attending the party. Not that I would sell mine, but those suckers go for about $50 on the secondary market.

Disney Honeymoon 663This year the Halloween party we attended saw the grand opening of a merchandise store next to the Haunted Mansion that sold exclusive Haunted Mansion merchandise. It took a lot more willpower than I thought I had to not drop a quick hundred in that place.

3. Many attractions are still open.  With a fraction of the people in the park as normal and many of them doing various other activities, attractions lines are next to nothing.

4. Trick-or-Treating! Regardless of age and whether or not you are wearing a costume, you get to trick-or-treat all night long in the Magic Kingdom. They even provide the bag.  It’s normal candy — not everything has Mickey ears

MNSSHP_ENTR1_7069819249For spectacle buffs, the Halloween party has it’s own version of the nightly fireworks show above the castle with a villainous theme as well as it’s own castle show with a good number of villains. The biggest spectacle of all may be the “Boo to You” parade.  If you click the video below, I warn you that you will have the song stuck in your head for literally days. The “Boo to You” parade not only begins with the Headless Horseman running through the park but it almost unanimously considered the best parade for any event all year.  The parade forgoes the typical princesses and Disney characters (with the exception of one float which has Mickey and company in Halloween costumes) to highlight areas such as the Haunted Mansion with it’s hitchhiking ghosts, the awesome gravediggers and the graveyard caretaker from the world famous attraction. Again, villains are highlighted.  Even the bears from the Country Bear Jamboree get in on the act.  This is the only time some of these characters get dusted off for the entire year.

There are characters aplenty about the park.  You can’t seem to go twenty feet without running into them.  We came very close to literally walking into Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck and Goofy (all in Halloween costume) as they made their way out of some dark corner.

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The thing I don’t seem to understand about these events (and Disney is bad about this all the time) are the “dance parties.”  Perhaps they are popular with kids?  I tend to avoid those events, though I had read about a “dance party” I wanted to check out in one of the rarely used buildings in Frontierland.  Club Villains opened up at the beginning of the party and it was a DJ led dance club (complete with graffiti styled villains portraits) with various villains dancing around the place. It was as I suspected.  The villains danced (most noteably the wicked stepmother and stepsisters from Cinderella) while everyone else just sort of stood around because most people don’t know how to dance.

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Toss in extras such as the Halloween mood lighting all around the park, turning the Dapper Dans (a barbershop quartet) into the Cadaver Dans and bonuses like the very entertaining ghosts that hang out in front of the Haunted Mansion for just his occasion and it makes for a fun, if not-so-scary evening. If you’re at the Magic Kingdom and you have the $45 to blow on the add-on, I would most definitely suggest it!

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Unleash Hell 42

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HORRORSCOPE VIEWER 1965

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This is considered to be one of the Holy Grails of Monster collecting. It features all the favorites: Dracula, Frankenstein and more classics like Revenge of Frankenstein. Turn the handle and watch the figures come to life!

5I LOVE IT SO MUCH! I never had one, but would have freaked to own it! I remember all the flicker movies at the amusement park my dad would take me to. He would hold me up and drop in a dime and I would turn the crank and the movie would move inside the machine by flicking the cards.

So Great! It doesn’t get any better than this killer home version! WOW! All the monster movies right in your hand at home! This was back in the day when you needed a projector or waited for them to come on TV and thought about them all day while thumbing through magazines! TOO COOL!

HORRORSCOPE RULES THE DAY!

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Little Miss Horror Nerd’s Little Horror Blog 63

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SEXY HALLOWEEN

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In honor of the approaching holiday of Halloween, I will rank the sexy killer costumes. As I did my research for this blog, I found six costumes including sexy Freddy which is the one I purchased. After opening and trying on the Freddy costume, I have decided that these are not costumes. They are basically lingerie for horror fans. Maybe I should wear mine to a horror convention. I wonder what would happen. (ED Note: You’d be one of two dozen girls wearing a Sexy Freddy outfit)

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6. Michael Myers Date by Paper Magic – Of the six costumes, I discovered this is my least favorite. The blue jumpsuit that is this costume is obviously mimicking the blue gas station jumpsuit that Michael Myers wears in the films. This is a one piece costume and it includes no accessories.  Even the bloody knife the model is holding is not included. Since this is an officially licensed Halloween franchise costume they might have at least included a plastic knife or mask. There is a Halloween screen print on the back of the jumpsuit which is the only way anyone will even know which movie you are from. This costume is not a good value and pretty lame.

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5. Sexy Chucky by Rubie’s Costume – The sexy Chucky costume sounds cute in theory but the costume doesn’t work. Once again, I’d be hard pressed to believe anyone other a horror fan would know who you are and even that is a stretch. The costume itself includes a half shirt, jumper and thigh highs. With the exception of the thighs it just looks like a grown woman decided to wear a baby’s clothes. The costume is available on Amazon and the single review said the costume is poor quality. Last but not least, the model is shown holding an ax. I do not recall Chucky murdering anyone with an ax but even if he had it wasn’t his weapon of choice.

4. Miss Leatherface by Rubie’s Costume – This costume includes a shirt, dress, and chainsaw purse, whatever that is. The single reviewer states the chainsaw purse is made of styrofoam so she used her own chainsaw. How bizarre! A purse made of styrofoam? The reviewer also said she wore this costume to a horror convention and other fans knew who she was. However, without a chainsaw I doubt they would have.

3. Sexy Miss Voorhees by Rubie’s Costume – This costume includes the hockey jersey mini dress and the Jason mask purse. This was not the costume I bought but based on reviews the quality is good. The knife the model is holding is not included but even without it others will know who you are or least which franchise you are from. Of the previous three costumes, this is the cutest.

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2. Women’s Scream Costume  by Fun World – The Scream costume comes in a black gown or short dress with a hood on it and includes the Ghostface mask.  I like this costume because other than my number one, it is the most recognizable. It also appears to be much more comfortable. Halloween night tends to be chilly and this costume has a bit more coverage but you can still be cute in it.

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1. Sexy Miss Krueger by Rubie’s Costume – Even non-horror fans know the claw and the sweater. The outfit includes the claw, hat, and a slashed up red and green sweater dress. The fedora hat and claw are both decent quality. The claw is for the right hand and I could do virtually nothing with my hand while wearing it. The fedora was a little large but stays on. The dress is a mess. While I love how it looks it is already falling apart and is obscenely short. If you wear this out of your house, you need a bra and thin leggings.

There you have it! My ranking of the Sexy Killer costumes.  Hopefully, it helps you make a decision about your costume.  All six of these are available on Amazon for between $25 and $35 dollars.

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Episode 115: The Son of Frankenstein

sonWhat’s worse than having a nagging bride?  How about a snot-nosed little kid!  It’s not what you think and Ron and Little Miss Horror Nerd are here to explain to you the ins and outs and happenings in the town of Frankenstein as they tackle the 1939 Son of Frankenstein!  During the course of the movie important topics will be discussed such as how people had sex back in the old times, Frankenstein’s regression back into silence, donkey punches and their various uses, the annoyance of the a child in Frankenstein movies and Universal’s struggles with horror movies leading up to the release of Son of Frankenstein!

Horror News: 13 Days of Elvira, blaming horror for real life murder and the return of Twin Peaks

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