Review: Great Pumpkin delights but doesn't soar

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At a Glance
  • Loud Crow It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

I’ve loved It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown—the 1966 TV special—since I was a kid, and I always look forward to my yearly viewing. But even as a child, I didn’t yearn for repeats: once a year was enough. The program, and its December counterpart, A Charlie Brown Christmas, are both warm and cozy.

The It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown app for the iPhone and iPad is as cozy as the yearly TV special, with some nice features: optional narration, character voices, and background music from the original TV program. There are also a few animated sequences included.

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown lets you create avatars, and while that’s somewhat fun, they don’t offer a lot of variation.

These are terrific, but other added features—dress-up avatars, simple games like bobbing for apples and carving your own pumpkin—add little to what’s already there. The app can also be more costly than the initial price tag indicates, as in-app purchases of coins ranging from $1 for 10 coins to $30 for 1,000 coins buy little more than some additional avatar options. The extra options hardly seemed that much fun, even for the youngest set.

While there’s a lot to like in this well-produced ebook app from Loud Crow, it’s also disappointing in some ways. It seems a bit overpriced, even without the coins. And for $10, you can buy the actual program—along with Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown and It’s Magic, Charlie Brown—from iTunes. For me, and for my young child who also read the book and has seen the special many times, there’s a charm to the TV special that simply isn’t captured in this app.

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At a Glance
  • The classic TV special is now an iPhone and iPad app, and while Loud Crow's mobile offering is charming enough, it doesn't match the greatness of the cartoon that inspired it.

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