#ThrowbackThursday: We still miss our gullible friendly-ghost – Casper!

Casper

With the technological advancements we have started making scary horror movies such as Nun, Conjuring, Veronica or Insidious, but we still cannot forget our cute, gullible friendly-ghost ‘Casper’.

Casper is the protagonist of the Famous Studios theatrical animated cartoon series of the same name who also starred in many comics, cartoon series and several films.

Who was Casper?

According to the 1995 feature film Casper, his family name is McFadden, making his full name Casper McFadden.

Casper died when contracted pneumonia from playing out in the cold for too long. Casper is a good and friendly ghost, who, much to the chagrin of his uncles, prefers to help people, rather than scare them.

Casper is a cute ghost-child with a New York accent, who prefers making friends with people instead of scaring them.

Being a ghost, Casper can become invisible and intangible, as well as fly. He is also able to turn other things in close proximity.

Who created Casper?

Casper was created in the late 1930s by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo, the former devising the idea for the character and the latter providing illustrations. Intended initially as the basis for a 1939 children’s storybook, there was at first little interest in their idea. When Reit was away on military service during the Second World War before the book was released, Oriolo sold the rights to the book to Paramount Pictures’ Famous Studios animation division.

The journey of the friendly ghost….

Casper was created in the late 1930s by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo, the former devising the idea for the character and the latter providing illustrations.

The Friendly Ghost, the first Noveltoon to feature Casper, was released by Paramount in 1945 with a few differences from the book.

Casper appeared in two more subsequent books by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo, There’s Good Boos To-Night and A Haunting We Will Go.

These were later adapted into Noveltoons before Paramount started a Casper the Friendly Ghost series in 1950, and ran the theatrical releases until the summer of 1959. The cartoon series also boasted a catchy title song which was written by Jerry Livingston and Mack David. In 1955, composer Winston Sharples composed an instrumental theme for Casper’s cartoons.

Harvey Comics, television, and films:

Alfred Harvey, founder, and publisher of Harvey Comics began producing Casper comic books in 1952, and in 1959, purchased the rights to the character outright.

After Harvey bought the rights to Casper, they began broadcasting the post-September 1950 theatrical Famous shorts on a television show sponsored by Mattel Toys titled Matty’s Funday Funnies on ABC in 1959 which introduced the Barbie doll to the public.

New cartoons were created for The New Casper Cartoon Show in 1963, also on ABC.

Numerous Casper cartoons were released on home video by Universal Studios, which also adapted the friendly ghost into a live-action feature film entitled Casper in 1995, where he and his wicked uncles, the Ghostly Trio, were done with computer animation.

In 1995, Fox created a new Casper series, based on the 1995 feature, that lasted two years. In 2001, Harvey Entertainment was acquired by Classic Media which continues to license the Harvey properties including Casper.

Video games:

Several video games were based on the 1995 film for PC, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Sega Saturn, 3DO, PlayStation, and Game Boy Color. In subsequent years Windows 95 and Game Boy Advance games were released serving as sequels to the film. Other titles include:

  • Casper: A Spirited Beginning Activity Center
  • Casper: Friends Around the World
  • Casper: Spirit Dimensions
  • Casper and the Ghostly Trio
  • Casper’s Scare School

Casper! We still miss you…..