|After years in ghostly limbo, all-but-disappeared from the screen and even comic books, Casper, the Friendly Ghost made a big-time comeback in 1995's Casper. Harvey Comics’ famous “Friendly Ghost” came to computer-generated life (or afterlife) once more in this feature, joining live-action actors like Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman and Cathy Moriarty.
Ill-tempered Carrigan Crittenden (Moriarty) inherits decrepit Whipstaff Manor from a deceased relative. Disappointed, she’s ready to have the place burned down, but her flunky Dibs discovers a map to the manor’s hidden treasure. One catch: the house is haunted.
Carrigan brings in “ghost therapist” Dr. James Harvey (Pullman) to talk the spooks into playing nice. The doctor’s teenage daughter, Kat (Ricci), isn’t too keen on the place until she meets one of its ghostly inhabitants: Casper, the friendly spirit of a deceased young boy. Casper just wants to make nice, but his “Ghostly Trio” of uncles—Stretch, Fatso, and Stinkie—won’t tolerate having “fleshies” in the house. The ghostly shenanigans and Carrigan’s underhanded plots lead to a literal rollercoaster climax in which Kat is forced to choose between saving her new friend or her father.
Dominated by eye-catching special effects, Casper was designed as a lively kids’ movie, with a few comic bits thrown in to keep parents happy (including a series of clever celebrity cameos). The movie was a worldwide hit, inspiring a new animated series and two direct-to-video sequels, Casper: A Spirited Beginning and Casper Meets Wendy.