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Emoji Major No. 12: It’s The Great Pumpkin Emoji, Charlie Brown

This week, in meta-Halloween spirit, Zoe Mendelson costumes the Peanuts gang, costumed as ghosts in the TV special, as emoji costumed as ghosts.

Happy almost-Halloween! For weeks now, the emoji have been begging for costumes. It makes me want to give them candy:

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Sure, I can occasionally slip skull-as-metaphor into anything deathy or toxic year-round (which is pretty much all of Breaking Bad), and the devil as bad news. I’m also fortunate to have already had another ensemble ghost set piece opportunity (American Horror Story at the Emmys).

But for the most part, the pumpkin, the alien, and so on offer up a delightfully fresh October-only set of emoji options. I’ve been looking forward to this holiday for a while.

So how to best put the little monsters into play? I didn’t want to do anything too scary because I’m still traumatized a bit from Carrie. We considered The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but there just wasn’t a great way to do a headless horseman. Without him, you’re sunk. Then there was an attempt at Star Wars: Halloween Edition, but that looked like a nightmarish acid trip of pumpkins with guns floating in space. Then we came to the entirely un-scary 1966 classic, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

I love the idea of re-animating something that’s already animated, especially something so iconic. I just think it’s funny. I even feel slightly subversive making Snoopy a totally different dog. I also like that it’s a comic made into a moving cartoon made back into a still comic-of-sorts. And the translation process was more fluid than I expected it to be. One reason: all the gosh darn pumpkins. The actual scenes probably look more like the emoji scenes than in any previous Major.


Also, I couldn’t resist making the Peanuts peanuttier, by which I mean even more impish and tiny. So much fun to be had with an ensemble cast. And they actually get into costume halfway through the TV special (ALL as ghosts)! This was a chance to drop sheets over the emoji and bring my casting shtick to another level. Such a serendipitous fit makes my heart flutter like Sally’s does for Linus.

The nearly 50-year-old show is worth a re-watch, especially if you’re as gored out by this year’s horrors as I am. And remember, it keeps a TV special special to watch it when it actually airs on TV: Halloween eve, 8:00 p.m. EST, ABC. The colors are retro-beautiful, the music is notably pleasant, and the jokes are on point. The precocious characters beguile and make a lot of eternally wise points, for example, “Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker.” If you don’t have the 25 minutes, or you’d like to stroll through the emoji pumpkin patch while you watch, see the slide show above.

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The Great Pumpkin will reward you–if you believe “sincerely.”

Hey, I’m setting up a Lucy van Pelt shrink shack (and waiving the five-cent fee): The doctor is IN. Please send any life, love, work questions you’d like answered in emoji to askemoji@fastcompany.com.

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About the author

Zoe Mendelson is a mushroom salesperson in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a weekly map column for UntappedCities.

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