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Melendez Studios

A great collection of original production animation cels for sale from Melendez Studios.

Original hand painted production animation cels of Linus and Sally from "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown," 1966; Set on a lithographic background with lithographic overlay; Melendez Studios; Original Peanuts Film Gallery seal lower left and Original Certificate of Authenticity hand signed by Bill Melendez; Size - Linus & Sally: 3 x 4 3/4", Image 7 3/4 x 11 3/4", Frame 15 1/4 x 19 1/4"; Framed with a black frame, three mats, and plexiglass.

"Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks in the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see." - Linus van Pelt 

Charles Monroe Schulz (1922-2000) was an American cartoonist best known for the comic strip Peanuts, which featured Charlie Brown, his dog Snoopy, and their friends. Schulz is regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time. At it's height, Peanuts was published daily in 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries, in 21 languages. Over the almost 50 years that Peanuts was published, Schulz drew nearly 18,000 strips. The strips, along with merchandise and product endorsements, produced $1 billion a year in annual revenue; with Schulz earning between $30-40 million/year. During the strips run, Schulz only took one vacation; a five week break in late 1997 to celebrate his 75th birthday. Reruns of the strip ran during that time period.

Jose Melendez, known as Bill Melendez, (1916-2008) was a Mexican American animator, film director, voice actor, and producer. He worked for the Walt Disney Company on Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi; as well as Warner Bros. and UPA animation studios. He then formed his own animation studio in 1964, Bill Melendez Productions. Bill Melendez met Charles Schulz in the late 1950's. Melendez had been hired by the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency to produce an animated commercial for the Ford Falcon. The Ford Motor Company wanted to use the "Peanuts" characters for the ad campaign. Schultz was opposed to the idea of animating his comic characters until he saw Melendez's drawings, which were consistent with Schultz's comic strip style. From that point on Melendez was the only person that Schultz trusted with animating his characters. Bill Melendez would go on to create every single television special and direct-to-video film for the Peanuts gang, with Bill Melendez directing the majority of them.

Schulz was insistent that Snoopy not utter English dialogue; so Bill Melendez provided the voice for both Snoopy and Woodstock by reciting gibberish and then mechanically speeding up the sounds at different speeds to represent the two different characters. Bill Melendez won six Emmy Awards for his work with Schultz, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" was the third Peanuts special based on Charles Schulz's comic strip characters (and second holiday special following "A Charlie Brown Christmas") to be produced and animated by Bill Melendez. It was initially broadcast on October 27, 1966 on CBS and preempted "My Three Sons." The original sponsors were Coca-Cola and the Dolly Madison brand of baked snack foods (which would go on to become the longtime co-sponsor of the Peanuts specials on CBS). CBS re-aired the Halloween special annually until 2000, with ABC picking up the rights in 2001.

The following five paragraphs are from Wikipedia and are the summary of "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown":

"With fall in full swing, the Peanuts gang prepares for Halloween. In the cold open, Linus and Lucy go out to the local pumpkin patch to find a pumpkin. Lucy selects the largest they can find, and poor Linus has to get it back to the house. He becomes distraught when it turns out Lucy is going to gut it to be a jack-o-lantern. After the opening credits, Snoopy ends up helping Charlie Brown, the dog's owner, when he rakes a pile of leaves. But then Linus jumps into the heap with a large lollipop. Then Lucy entices Charlie to kick a football... with the usual results. Later, Charlie Brown gets invited to a Halloween party hosted by Violet. Neither Charlie Brown nor Lucy can believe his invitation: as he breaks out into a "happy dance," she assumes it is a mistake.

Linus is writing his yearly letter to The Great Pumpkin, despite Charlie Brown's disbelief, Snoopy's laughter, Patty's assurance that the Great Pumpkin is a fake, and even his own sister Lucy, who threatens to "pound" him. (She is watching TV and reading a TV Guide with her picture on it.) Only Sally, Charlie Brown's younger sister, smitten with Linus, supports him -- until Charlie Brown takes her away. Linus goes out to mail the letter but cannot reach the mailbox. Lucy refuses to help him, so he lassos the mailbox handle with his security blanket, opening the box to waft in the letter.

On Halloween night, the gang (including Sally) goes trick-or-treating, each with their own costume. Most dress as ghost in simple white sheet costumes. Charlie Brown botches his costume, giving it too many holes because of "trouble with the scissors." Pig-Pen's trademark dust cloud makes him easy to identify. Lucy dresses as a witch, saying it it the opposite of her real personality. On the way, they stop at the pumpkin patch to jeer at Linus for missing the festivities, just as he did the previous year. Undeterred, Linus is convinced that the Great Pumpkin will come to his sincere pumpkin patch, an tries to convince Sally to join him. Sally, acting almost entirely on he infatuation with Linus, agrees to skip trick-or-treating.

During "tricks or treats," the kids get their goodies (except of Charlie Brown, who gets nothing but rocks). After going back to the pumpkin patch to tease Linus and Sally, the gang goes to Violet's Halloween party. Meanwhile, Snoopy, wearing his World War I flying ace costume, climbs aboard his doghouse (imagining it to be a Sopwith Camel fighter plane) to fight with the Red Baron. After a fierce but losing battle, Snoopy makes his way across "the countryside" to briefly crash the Halloween party. He is entertained by Schroeder's playing of World War I tunes on his piano, though the sad songs make him cry. Embarrassed, he leaves. Linus an Sally are still in the pumpkin patch. When Linus sees a shadowy figure rising from the moonlit patch, he assumes the Great Pumpkin is there and faints. Sally sees that it is only Snoopy. When Linus wakes, she furiously yells at him for making her miss the Halloween festivities as Charlie Brown an the others come to get her. As they leave, Linus, still convinced that the Great Pumpkin will materialize, promises to put in a good word for them "if he comes." He then panics, as he had said *if* instead of *when*.

At four o'clock the next morning, Lucy realizes that Linus is not in his bed. She finds her brother in the pumpkin patch, shivering in his clothes, huddled under his blanket, and half asleep. She brings him home, takes off his shoes, and put him to bed. When daylight cones, Charlie Brown and Linus lean against a wall and commiserate about the previous night's disappointments. Charlie Brown attempts to console his friend by saying he has done stupid things in his life, too. This infuriates Linus, who begins to vow that the Great Pumpkin will come to the pumpkin patch next year. Charlie Brown listens with an annoyed look on his face as the credits roll."

This is an extremely rare pair of original production animation cels of Sally and Linus from "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown," 1966. The piece came from the Peanuts Film Gallery and still has it's original Certificate of Authenticity hand signed by Bill Melendez. This is an iconic piece of animation art history and a great addition to any collection!


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