Thrilling Thursdays: Raggedy Ann and Andy: The Pumpkin Who Couldn’t Smile

Before we get to the official Thrilling Thursdays media special, if you haven’t looked at Vulture’s robot-battles bracket yet, you totally must.  This is for all you robot enthusiasts and robot costumers out there.  You know who you are.

Today’s Halloween classic is a cartoon I watched and loved as a kid, Raggedy Ann and Andy: The Pumpkin Who Couldn’t Smile.

I blame this cartoon for my assigning feelings to inanimate objects.  I’m not just talking in a normal developmental fashion, something that you outgrow once you hit adolescence.  I’m talking in a, I still have some stuffed animals and they definitely have feelings and I can’t get rid of them because it will hurt their feelings maybe I’m a little crazy fashion.  And yes, this extends to pumpkins–it is so hard to throw these guys out after Halloween but, you know, that whole rotting thing.  It happens.

ANYWAYS.  This cartoon is about a sad little boy who lives with his horrible aunt or grandmother or older relative but it definitely isn’t his mother.  It is Halloween, and all the kids are having a great time, but not this little boy, because his horrible female older relative won’t let him celebrate Halloween.  Even worse, this horrible female older relative won’t let him have a jack-o-lantern, because they attract fruit flies.  Supposedly.

On the other side of town, in a lonely pumpkin patch, the last pumpkin of the season is all alone, wishing someone would take him home to love him.  For some reason this pumpkin has already been carved, but that is neither here nor there.  The pumpkin spends nearly the entire special bemoaning his lonely lot in life and crying pumpkin seed tears, and talking about how he wishes he was a Christmas tree or an apple because everyone loves Christmas trees and apples.

Raggedy Ann and Andy, who I never had much interest in despite owning several lovely Raggedy Ann dolls, see these two lonely souls and make it their goal to unite them.  Of course they are successful, and the horrible older female relative sees how happy her charge is and ultimately becomes less horrible, and the boy and the pumpkin have love and hugs, and it is beautiful guys it really is.  Except when I got older all I could think about was the inevitability of the pumpkin’s rotting, and that the little boy would have to throw out his friend and oh, guys, it is so sad. (That doesn’t happen in the cartoon, it is just conjecture on my part).

As you can imagine I have not seen this special since I was a kid–all of that came from nostalgia and memory.  But thanks to Youtube I can watch the whole thing online.  So I’m going to do that now–give me maybe half an hour.  You should watch it too, the videos are below, and I’ll wait until you are done.

So that was precisely what I remembered, which is awesome, except it was funnier than I expected it to be, I had forgotten about the mouse, and somehow that entire awesome skateboard chase through town with the howling cat had slipped my memory.  Also, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that I definitely shed some pumpkin seed tears of my own.  That part where Ann and Andy tell the pumpkin that he will get a home and he is so happy?  Tears.  That part where the pumpkin admits that he never even wished to have a home because he was afraid to hope?  Tears.  Ralph and the pumpkin snuggling on the bed?  Tears.  Guys, this is an awesome story about an existential crisis and if you are not moved by it then you have no heart.

And you know what else? It verifies the fact that Halloween is really awesome, and if you don’t like Halloween then your inner child needs to be reawakened!  Now, I’m going to go re-watch that and cry some more, because, memories.

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