Plot: Casper isn’t called The Friendly Ghost for no reason, as while he might be a ghost, he is still friendly. This is unusual for a ghost of course, since ghosts are supposed to haunt houses and scare people. But Casper would rather make friends than run them off, which gets him into trouble at times. No matter how often he is told to scare or else, he refuses to be a mean spirit. So now, he has to get to back to the basics and attend Scare School. The hope is that with the right lessons and a good teacher, Casper will give up his kind ways and be the frightful ghost they think he should be. So Casper goes to his classes and pays attention, but he doesn’t intend to become a scary ghost. He does learn though, he learns that the headmasters of the school have plans to take over the world. But can Casper manage to make sure they don’t succeed?
Entertainment Value: Casper is back and in this made for television special, he’s even computer generated. The story is basic, but works well since it is just the kind of tale we’d expect from a Casper movie. The writing isn’t that sharp, but on a made for television children’s movie scale, its decent enough. The jokes will have younger viewers entertained and for older fans of the characters, its fun to see them in this new approach. This is not a show with hidden in jokes for adults like Shrek, the jokes are all child appropriate and outside of some mildly crude moments, this show is inoffensive. The animation isn’t at Pixar levels, but has a cool visual design and is better than I had expected. The movie was spun into a television series, so the animation style makes sense from that perspective. This might not be an animation classic, but fans of Casper should have a little fun here.
The material might not be the best, but Casper’s Scare School boasts a much more interesting cast than you might expect. An assortment of the usual voice talent regulars is present, with Dan Castellaneta, Billy West, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Fred Tatasciore, and more, so there’s immense vocal performance skill there, but that’s just the start here. The voice cast also includes Phyllis Diller, Christy Carlson Romano, Jim Belushi, Kevin McDonald, and of course, Bob Saget. The performances are fine, if a little basic overall, but this is an eclectic, impressive lineup. I mean, if you don’t want to hear Jim Belushi and Bob Saget in a children’s animated feature, I don’t even know what to think at that point.
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