Casper the Friendly Ghost is the spirit of a little boy who doesn’t want to scare anybody. This kindly spirit first appeared in Paramounts’ Famous Studios ‘Noveltoon’ series “The Friendly Ghost” (1945) directed by Isadore Sparber, written by Seymour Reit and illustrated by Joe Oriolo. The sequel “There’s Good Boos To-Night” aired in theaters in 1948.
In September 1949, St. John’s publishing issued the first Casper comic book “Casper the Friendly Ghost.” Harvey Comics later purchased the rights to all the Casper products from Paramount Studios in the 1950s.
The plot in most Casper stories followed the ghost of a little boy and his quest to make friends with various people or animals, but first he must convince them that he is not out to scare them. By the end of each cartoon, Casper wins new friends by being friendly or helpful in some way.
Casper Theme Lyrics
Casper, the friendly ghost
The friendliest ghost you know!
The grownups might look at him with fright,
But the children all love him so.
He always says hello
And he’s really glad to meet ya’
Wherever he may go,
He’s kind to every living creature.
Grownups don’t understand,
Why children love him the most,
But kids all know that he loves them so,
Casper the friendly ghost!
Over the years other ghostly characters such as Lu, a female ghost who made her first appearance in “To Boo or Not to Boo”; Casper’s buddy, Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost; The Ghostly Trio, (Stretch, Fatso and Stinkie) Casper’s ghostly uncles who live in a haunted house and enjoy scaring people; and Nightmare, the ghost of a friendly female horse costarred with Casper in his many theatrical and TV cartoons, as well as comic book adventures.
Casper even had a human friend named Wendy the Good Little Witch who first appeared in “Casper the Friendly Ghost” #20, May 1954 (one month after the first appearance of Nightmare the horse). Wendy lived with her witch aunts, Thelma, Velma, and Zelma in an enchanted forest.
“Boo unto others as you would have others boo unto you.”
“Fright makes right.”
“I will spook when spooken to.”
– Ghost School Rules
In 1995, Casper appeared in his first full-length live-action feature film “Casper: The Movie” produced by Universal. In the film, Dr, James Harvey (Bill Pullman), self-styled “ghost therapist” and his 12-year-old daughter Kathleen “Kat” Harvey” (Christina Ricci) travel to Friendship, Maine and moves into a haunted mansion (Whipstaff Manor) to exorcise the resident spirits, namely, Casper McFadden and his uncles Stretch, Fatso and Stinkie (“The Ghostly Trio”).
By the end of the film, Casper’s ghostly spirit was allowed to be human for a few hours because of a self-sacrificing deed. Malachi Pearson provided the voice of Casper. The movies tagline: “Get an Afterlife” All the ghosts in the film were computer generated.
Casper the Ghost was also seen on the animated cartoons CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST/SYN/1953, THE NEW CASPER CARTOON SHOW/ABC/1963-67; CASPER AND THE ANGELS/NBC/1979, with Caper paired with a hairy ghost called Harry Scary and two police women; and THE SPOOKTACULAR NEW ADVENTURES OF CASPER/FOX/1996-98.
Additional Casper films include: “Casper Saves Halloween” (1979); “Casper: A Spirited Beginning” (1997); “Casper Meets Wendy” – aka “Casper 3” (1998); “Casper’s Haunted Christmas” (2000); and “Casper and Wendy’s Ghostly Adventures” (2002).
Casper the Friendly Ghost
c/o Whipstaff Manor
Casper the Friendly Ghost – Compilation of Cartoons (Video)
Casper the Friendly Ghost (IMDB)
Casper and the Angels (IMDB)
The New Casper Show (IMDB)
The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper (IMDB)
Casper: The Movie (IMDB)
Casper: A Spirited Beginning (IMDB)