When it comes to Halloween, traditions are important. Some families make it a yearly rite to head out to the pumpkin patch. Others have a set trick-or-treating ritual. And for some, Halloween means a visit from the Great Pumpkin.
And by Great Pumpkin, we mean It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, one of the best family Halloween movies of all time. But, unless you plan it correctly, if you’re looking to watch the famed Peanuts special, you could end up like Linus and Sally, disappointed on the day after Halloween.
When will the Charlie Brown Halloween special air in 2022?
Watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown used to mean checking the TV listings, gathering the family in the living room, turning on network TV and watching it with commercials. And if you missed it — that was it. Try again next year.
For better or for worse, TV doesn’t work that way anymore. As with everything else, in order to guarantee that you’ll be able to watch the It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown whenever you want this year, you’re going to have to subscribe to a streaming service. In this case, Apple TV+ has the rights to the Great Pumpkin.
This is good and bad news. You can only stream it on Apple TV+, which might be a hit to the old wallet if you’re not already signed up. But if you are an Apple TV+ subscriber, you can basically watch the Charlie Brown Halloween special whenever you want — even in summer, if the mood strikes — without scouring the TV listings, worried you might miss your once chance per year.
For die-hard Snoopy fans, take note that Apple TV+ actually has the rights to all of the great Peanuts holiday specials, including A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Happy New Year Charlie Brown, For Auld Lang Syne and others, in addition to shows like Snoopy in Space and The Snoopy Show. If you’re in a family of Peanuts superfans, it could be worth it to subscribe.
There might be one station airing The Great Pumpkin for Halloween
If you don’t subscribe to Apple TV+ and have no plans to join, all is not necessarily lost. Last year, Apple TV+ made the special available without a streaming subscription, airing for one night only on PBS and PBS Kids. It also made a similar arrangement for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas. No announcements have been made for 2022, but you might want to keep an eye on PBS and PBS Kids.
Is It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown streaming anywhere else?
With most movies, even if you can’t stream them for free, you can find a way to buy or rent them through services like Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Great Pumpkin.
It’s not going to be available on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video or Vudu (though those services have their own Halloween offerings that are worth checking out especially Disney+, Netflix and Hulu).
If you can still play discs at home, though, you can buy a copy. It’s included in the Peanuts Holiday Collection, which comes with the three big holiday specials. That way, you’ll be set for all the holidays so long as you have a device that plays discs. As more and more streaming services pop up, and rights to different movies and shows bounce from one to the other — has anyone else noticed how the Harry Potter movies keep going back and forth between HBO Max and Peacock? — buying your favorites on Blu-ray might be the safest bet in any case.
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