The Peanuts gang celebrate Halloween by going trick or treating and attending a Halloween party. Meanwhile, Linus and Sally patiently await in the most sincere pumpkin patch in town for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. Director Bill Melendez and writer Charles M. Shulz astutely evoke a child-like sense of awe and wonder about Halloween, specifically depicting the joy of friends and the fun of trick or treating with warm, funny and touching accuracy. Moreover, the anguish and disappointments of childhood are likewise shown in a winningly pleasant and witty way, with Charlie Brown getting nothing but rocks making for a hilarious running gag and the failure of the Great Pumpkin to ultimately materialize teaching all of us a valuable lesson about how life doesn't always pan out the way you want it to. In fact, there's something very moving about Linus' fierce unwavering devotion to the Great Pumpkin. Of course, it certainly helps that the characters are so distinct and appealing: the perpetually luckless, yet persistent Charlie Brown, the deceitful Lucy, the precocious Linus, the smitten Sally, and, best of all, the ever exuberant Snoopy. Among the highlights: Lucy dressing as a witch, Pigpen showing up in a dirty costume, Snoopy as a World War I flying ace fighting the Red Baron, Charlie Brown being used as a model for a pumpkin carving, and Snoopy catching himself howling along to Schroeder's melancholy piano music. The use of actual kid actors to do the voices of the characters gives this show an extra appealing authenticity. Kudos are also in order for Vince Guaraldi's supremely jazzy and jaunty score, which makes inspired use of fluttery flutes to capture the eeriness of Halloween. But this program's chief enduring strength is its sweet and charming simplicity. An absolute delight.