Charles “Charlie” Brown is the protagonist in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.
Charlie Brown and his creator are both the sons of barbers, but whereas Schulz’s work is described as the “most shining example of the American success story”, Charlie Brown is an example of “the great American un-success story” in that he fails in almost everything he does.
Charlie Brown is a lovable loser, a child possessed of endless determination and hope, but who is ultimately dominated by his insecurities and a “permanent case of bad luck,” and is often taken advantage of by his peers. He and Lucy Van Pelt star in a running gag that recurs throughout the series: Lucy holds a football for Charlie Brown to kick, but pulls it away before he can kick it, causing Charlie Brown to fly into the air and fall on his back.
Schulz acknowledged that he created Charlie Brown as somewhat of a self-portrait, in that the character shares Schulz’s self-doubt and insecurities.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a 1966 American prime time animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.
A Halloween special, it was the third Peanuts special (and second holiday-themed special, following A Charlie Brown Christmas) to be produced and animated by Bill Melendez. Its initial broadcast took place on October 27, 1966, on CBS, preempting My Three Sons. CBS re-aired the special annually through 2000, with ABC picking up the rights beginning in 2001. The program was nominated for an Emmy award. It has been issued on home video several times, including a Remastered Deluxe Edition of the special released by Warner Home Video on September 2, 2008, with the bonus feature It’s Magic, Charlie Brown which was released in 1981.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, a retrospective book was published in 2006 entitled, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic with the entire script, never-before-seen photographs, storyboard excerpts, and interviews with the original child actors who provided the voices of the Peanuts gang.