Casper the Friendly Ghost Is Getting a Live-Action Series

We're so excited, it's scary on april 11, peacock confirmed that a casper the friendly ghost series is in development. get the details below.

We're not boo-sheeting you!

The friendliest of ghosts is coming to our small screens. On April 11, Peacock confirmed to E! News that it has a Casper the Friendly Ghost  series in development—but it may not give us the warm, fuzzy feelings we'd expect from the lovable little ghost. The horror-adventure series will reimagine the origin of Casper in a coming-of-age story and explore what it means to be alive. 

"When a new family arrives in the small town of Eternal Falls, Casper finds himself entangled in a mystery uncovering dark secrets that have been buried for over 100 years," according to the series description. 

The series—written and executive produced by Kai Yu Wu —follows the original animated Famous Studios movies, which were released between 1945 and 1959. In 1995, Christina Ricci  and Bill Pullman co-starred in the film Casper , with Malachi Pearson voicing the titular spirit. Pearson also starred in the 1996–1998 TV series The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper .

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nene casper the ghost

New Casper the Friendly Ghost Coming to Peacock

  • April 13, 2022


Peacock has been pretty busy lately creating a wide range of content for their new streaming platform. Including just announcing Casper a live-action tv series based off of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Now, this wouldn’t be the first time we have seen the friendly ghost in a live-action. In fact, the 1995 Casper film is a family hit that grossed 55 million. But this will be the first time that Casper the Friendly Ghost might not be so PG.

Riverdale Casper?

Casper. The Ghostly Trio. Fatso, Stretch and Stinkie (1995)

It seems that the creators behind the new series will be taking a page from the hit CW series, Riverdale. What was one a wholesome comic story about Archie and his friends in a small town, has taken a much darker interpretation. And clearly, that change in the story has been a huge success, with the series confirming Season 7.

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nene casper the ghost

Casper will be a coming-of-age story that fans can expect to take a similar darker twist. This series is described as a horror/adventure show that will focus on the origin of our favorite ghost. Following a family arriving in Eternal Falls, Casper gets caught up in uncovering a dark secret that has been hidden for 100 years. Similar to Riverdale, this story will focus on a high school setting. There isn’t much to go off just yet regarding this new series. But we do know that it will be written and executive produced by Kai Yu Wu. As well as UCP and DreamWorks Animation set to co-produce. Wu has written for shows such as NBC’s Hannibal , CW’s The Flash , and ABC’s Deception . She also recently created the Netflix series The Ghost Bride .

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It’s always interesting and exciting when we get to see characters and stories we are so accustomed to being revised into something so drastically new. It isn’t clear how similar they will make Casper to Riverdale ’s style of storytelling. As a long-time fan of Archie comics who has been strapped into the long ride that is Riverdale, sometimes it can be overly complicated and hard to get through. This is something that might be a hard balance regarding this type of narrative switch. It also isn’t clear if this is in an effort to connect to that Riverdale fanbase which seems to stem a lot from the Supernatural fanbase. Not to mention the fanbase of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which personally felt like it ended too soon.

RELATED: Bryan Cranston And Aaron Paul Officially Returning for Final Season of Better Call Saul One thing is for sure, there is a huge market for murder mysteries and plots that surround supernatural elements. As well as we are seeing that shows that have already built-in fandoms, are thriving no matter how weird and different it might get. And this is where some of the unease sits. Because there isn’t a lot of information available, it’s hard to tell if Casper will even be able to keep the title, “Friendliest Ghost.” One thing about Riverdale is while the plot is darker, the characters are still roughly based in the original sense. These are the attributes that made readers connect to them in the first place. Could fan love of Casper withstand if he isn’t the friendly type?

In the 1995 movie, we learn that Casper had died due to pneumonia. But since the creation of Casper in 1939, there really isn’t much history behind the origin story. So one has to wonder, could the mystery that this new series revolves around, be behind his own death?


What do you think about the new plans for Casper ? Do you like these reimaginings of classic titles? Why is it always a dark and gritty take? Let us know what you think in the comments below and share your reactions with us on Twitter

Source: Murphy’s Multiverse

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Casper the Friendly Ghost

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This page is about the character. For other uses, see Casper (disambiguation) .

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

Casper is a good ghost, who, much to the chagrin of his uncles , prefers to help people, rather than scare them.  

  • 2 Creation and Productions
  • 3 Harvey Comics, television and films
  • 4 Video Games
  • 5 Other appearances and references
  • 10 References

History [ ]

Not much is known about how Casper came to be a ghost, or how he did end up with the Ghostly Trio. According to the 1995 feature film Casper , he died when contracted pneumonia from playing out in the cold for too long, but so far, that's the only version there is.

Given that Casper is depicted as a ghostly slightly obese little boy, there is a controversy among fans of the series about whether or not he is a dead child. Early Casper cartoons seemed to suggest this, as they portrayed him "living" beside a gravestone. Specifically, the short  There's Good Boos To-Night  featured Ferdie, a fox befriended by Casper, coming back from the dead as a ghost. Casper's death (as well as the reason why he became friendly) has become disputed since then.

This somewhat macabre premise was later abandoned in favor of the idea that ghosts were merely a type of creature, similar to ghouls, goblins, etc. He was thereafter portrayed with feet and shown to have ghostly parents & became slightly slimmer. In the 1960s and 1970s, the stock answer provided by Harvey Comics in response to those wondering how Casper died was that he was a ghost simply because his parents were already ghosts when they were married.<ref></ref>

The 1995 feature film  Casper , however, revived the notion that Casper was a deceased human and provided a brief account of his death. According to the film, Casper died from pneumonia. The first direct-to-video film to follow the feature,  Casper: A Spirited Beginning , showed Casper's early days as a ghost, not showing how he died and ignoring the story provided in the previous film.

In the original Harveytoons animation, Casper has been seen standing next to a grave inscribed with "Casper", that supports the theory he is indeed a ghost. Originally, stories have shown that his visibility is due to wearing a sheet. In the Casper live movie, this is not shown and it is implied that he is naturally visible to humans as a white creature.

He uses physical makeup in a Harveytoons show where Casper takes care of a pair of kittens, it opens with seeing (or not seeing) him scrubbing himself off in the shower, completely invisible. He becomes visible by putting on something like a white cloth that people traditionally use to masquerade as ghosts. This implies that he is naturally invisible and puts this on so that he can be seen and interact with others.

In spite of this, he is apparently still able to move through solid objects without leaving this behind, so he may be able to extend his ability to move through things to other objects.

Creation and Productions [ ]

Casper The Friendly Ghost (1936)

Casper Happy (1936)

Casper was created in the late Born April 20, 1915 by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo, the former

Casper The Friend Ghost (1937)

Casper Upsaid (1937)

Jam Handy’s “Down The Gasoline Trail” (1936)

Casper’s Was A Baby 1939

Pudgy Picks a Fight! (1937)

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, for which he had occasionally worked.Template:Citation needed

The Friendly Ghost , the first Noveltoon to feature Casper, was released by Paramount in 1945 with a few differences from the book. In the cartoon adaptation, Casper is a cute ghost-child with a New York accent, who prefers making friends with people instead of scaring them (Casper used to scare people but got tired of it all). He runs away from home and goes out to make friends. However, the animals he meets (a rooster, a mole, a cat, a mouse resembling Herman and Katnip, and a group of hens) take one horrified look at him and run off in the other direction. Distraught, Casper unsuccessfully attempts to commit suicide by laying himself down on a railway track before an oncoming train (apparently forgetting that he's already dead) before he meets two little children named Bonnie and Johnny who become his friends. The children's mother at first is frightened of Casper, but later welcomes him into the family and sends him off with her children to town wearing clothes after he wards off a greedy landlord. 

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 . ( There's Good Boos To-Night differs wildly from later Casper cartoons: although Casper trying to find a friend and scaring everyone away before succeeding also occurs in later cartoons, the tone of the cartoon turns dark when a hunter and his dogs appear. Although Casper scares them away, the fox he has befriended is killed, but happily returns as a ghost.)

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.  Nearly every entry in the series was the same: Casper (now slightly thinner than his obese self that first appeared in the earlier cartoons) escapes from the afterlife of a regular ghost because he finds that scaring people can be tiresome year after year, tries to find friends but inadvertently scares almost everyone, and finally finds a (cute little) friend, whom he saves from some sort of fate, leading to his acceptance by those initially scared of him.  The cartoon series also boasted a catchy title song which was written by Jerry Livingston and Mack David.Template:Citation needed By 1955, however, composer Winston Sharples composed an entirely new instrumental theme for Casper's cartoons.

Harvey Comics, television and films [ ]

Casper went on to become one of the most famous properties from the Famous Studio.   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 and many other Famous properties in 1959 (including Herman and Katnip, Little Audrey, and  Baby Huey ), 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.  The other Famous produced Casper cartoons had already been acquired by television distributor U.M.&M. T.V. Corp. in 1956.  U.M.&M. retitled just "A Haunting We Will Go", but miscredited "Featuring Casper The Friendly Ghost"  as "Featuring Caspers Friendly Ghost".

New cartoons were created for  The New Casper Cartoon Show  in 1963, also on ABC. The original Casper cartoons were syndicated under the title  Harveytoons  in 1962 and ran continuously until the mid-90s. Casper has remained popular in reruns and merchandising, and Hanna-Barbera produced two holiday specials,  Casper's First Christmas  (which also starred Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Quick Draw McGraw, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy) and  Casper's Halloween Special  (aka  Casper Saves Halloween ), and also the Saturday morning cartoon series  Casper and the Angels  (an animated takeoff on two live-action hit shows Charlie's Angels & "CHiPS")in the autumn of 1979, all on NBC.  Also featured on the NBC version was a big ghost named Hairy Scary (voiced by John Stephenson). None of Casper's original co-stars appeared in the show.

Numerous Casper cartoons were released on home video by Universal Studios (via MCA Inc.), 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. The film constructed a back-story for Casper and is the only time in the series that the question of his death has been addressed. According to the film, Casper was "straight Gang Banging" until he died from pneumonia. Whipstaff Manor appears to represent the historic Schroeppel Mansion in Syracuse, New York, which is a national monument. McFadden seems to be the name the writers used because the actual family named von Schroeppel lost a twelve-year-old son named Casper to drowning in Morristown, New York, who is said to haunt the family's estate in Syracuse. Casper was a name that could be used but not the actual name of the family.

In 1996, Fox created a new  Casper  series, based on the 1995 feature, that lasted two years. In the late 1990s, two live-action direct-to-video follow-ups to the 1995 film:  Casper: A Spirited Beginning  and  Casper Meets Wendy (which introduced Hilary Duff in her first feature) were made. They were followed by  Casper's Haunted Christmas  (starring Spooky and Poil from the original comics and animated spin-off of the first movie), and  Casper's Scare School , which were done entirely in CGI with no live-action elements. These films are often being regarded as "prequels" to the 1995 feature despite the fact that they heartily contradict the feature and do not appear to even take place in the same (cartoon) continuity. 

In 2001, Harvey Entertainment was acquired by Classic Media which continues to license the Harvey properties including Casper.<ref></ref>

In 2007, MoonScoop Group, in association with Classic Media, TF1 et DQ, produced a TV show of  52 X 12' named ( Casper's Scare School ).

Video Games [ ]

There have been several video games released based on Casper. Two different games for the Super NES. Casper for the 3DO, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and Game Boy Color.   Casper  for the Game Boy. Casper for the Game Boy Advance. Casper: The Interactive Adventure for the PC. Casper: Friends Around the World for the PlayStation.  Casper: Spirit Dimension s for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2. Casper and The Ghostly Trio for the PlayStation 2. Casper's Scare School for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS. There also have been several other PC games released, Casper CD-ROM games were developed and published in many languages in 2006 and 2007 by Compendia.

Other appearances and references [ ]

  • In the film  Ghost Dad , with Bill Cosby, the main character's daughter comments that when everyone learns her father is a ghost they will say, "Oh, look; there goes Casper's daughter." Alongside this, he also aided Cosby in the placing of drugs into an unsuspecting women's drink.
  • In the film  A Perfect World , eight-year-old Phillip Perry (T. J. Lowther) shoplifts and wears a Casper costume.
  • In the film  Kids , one of the lead characters' names is Casper, and he frequently describes himself as the very friendly ghost
  • The Command Service Module on NASA's Apollo 16 mission to the moon in 1971 was named "Casper" after the cartoon character.I
  • In the film  Me, Myself & Irene , Jim Carrey's character 'Charlie' asks new tagalong "Milky" for his real name, insisting that they should stop calling him that. His response was "'Casper', but my friends call me 'Whitey'". The reference is that Casper is an albino nerdy loner kid. 
  • NASA named a Martian rock after Casper during the Mars Pathfinder's trip to the planet Mars in 1997. In the initial photos, the "Casper Rock" was shown to be completely white.
  • Casper was parodied in an episode of  The Simpsons . Bart and Lisa were comparing each other's comic unfavorably when Bart pointed out that Casper bore an uncanny resemblance to Richie Rich and was probably Richie's ghost.  When Bart wondered how Richie died, Lisa mused that perhaps he realized how hollow the pursuit of money is, and took his own life.   Simpsons  creator Matt Groening would later echo this opinion on the animated talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast, mentioning that the Casper and Richie looked "very similar" after Groening wonders aloud "Who is Casper the ghost of?
  • Casper, the Little Dead Boy?"  In an episode of the Simpsons' annual Treehouse of Horror series, a gravestone can be seen that reads "Casper the Friendly Boy."
  • In the  Family Guy  three-part episode/film,  Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story , one scene depicts Casper's demise in an act accidentally initiated by Stewie. The two were playing catch when Stewie told Casper to go long. As he was running, Casper didn't pay attention and was hit by a car, becoming a ghost seconds later (though Casper claims that he was "going to off himself on Tuesday anyway").
  • On  Cheers , Norm Peterson observed that by the end of each episode Casper was surrounded by friends, but by the beginning of the next episode he was once again friendless. Cliff Clavin's response was that Casper was simply quenching his thirst for blood.
  • In  The X-Files  Unrestricted Access PC CD-ROM Adventure Game, an unnamed FBI agent insults the player's supernatural investigation by referencing Casper the Friendly Ghost.
  • The name of the school in the Nickelodeon series  Danny Phantom  is Casper High.
  • Casper is parodied in an episode of  Robot Chicken  in which he has a brother named Jasper "The DouchebagGhost". Jasper is identical in appearance to Casper, but his personality and mannerisms are the opposite of Casper's. Instead of being friendly toward people, Jasper plays rude jokes on them (Possessing the body of a dead person at their funeral, cursing at people, etc).
  • In a short from  Tom and Jerry Tales , Tom uses his master Van Hellsing's equipment to capture several ghosts, including one calling himself "Jasper the Social Ghost".
  • The song "Ghost Ride" by Mistah FAB makes a reference to Casper.
  • An episode of  SpongeBob SquarePants  is called "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost".
  • Casper was going to appear in  Who Framed Roger Rabbit , but was dropped out later on in production.
  • In the  The Hermit of Black Rock  episode of  The Land Before Time  (based on  The Land Before Time  films), Guido refers to Chomper as Chomper the friendly Sharptooth. 
  • Daniel Johnston wrote a song entitled "Casper the Friendly Ghost" which was included on his 1983 recording  Yip/Jump Music . In the song, Casper was down on his luck and threw his last dime into a wishing well but was too close and fell to his death.
  • The Casper Ghosts minor league baseball team uses the icon of Casper as an alternate logo with permission from the Harvey Entertainment division of Classic Media.
  • In the movie  The Haunted Mansion , one of Eddie Murphy's lines is "no way, forget it Casper!" when talking to his son about helping the ghosts in the mansion.
  • On an episode of the short-lived Fox sketch comedy show  The Edge , a sketch featured "What Casper the Friendly Boy is doing right this minute".  In it, "Casper" scampers along a suburban street, waving and greeting all the people he passes.  Suddenly, as he is crossing the street without looking, he is hit by an oncoming truck, thereby implying how Casper the Friendly Boy became Casper the Friendly Ghost.
  • In "The Dragony of Defeat", an episode of the Kids game show, "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego". Double Trouble, mistakenly thought Caspian from the Caspian Sea was the name of the friendly ghost, which Carmen corrected them.
  • In the comic strip, Scary Gary Leopold enlisted the aid of Casper to look for Scary Gary who was kidnapped by a monster hating next door neighbor.
  • "Harvey Girls Forever!" has been eyeing for an appearance of Casper in the episode "Scare Bud".
  • In Transformice , is an achievement title called "Casper".

Being a ghost, Casper can become invisible and intangible, as well as fly. He is also able to turn other things in close proximity (probably requiring to touch them) intangible as well. He does with the sheet he wears to be seen, and also did it to feed a dog a bone when Casper scared off the cooked chicken that was going to be the watchdog's reward. It is unknown if he is able to turn living things intangible with him.

He has also been seen (such as in Which is Witch ) fading into view to his standard white appearance from being invisible, rather than putting on the sheet. This indicates that he puts on the sheet for visibility, but is also able to turn it invisible to match his natural state. It is unknown if he is able to turn living things invisible too. However, one issue of the comic (1960s) where Casper is speaking to a friend, said that "to become invisible, think nothing."

Casper seems to be able to selectively affect the world. His natural state seems to be to be intangible (along with making his sheet this way) since when he is unaware, things pass right through him. But he is also able to physically affect things, such as moving around things or people.

It is unknown if Casper has mass, he seems to be in sync with the earth's orbit, though not necessarily due to gravity since he is able to fly at will .

Friends [ ]

  • Wendy the Good Little Witch
  • Hot Stuff the Little Devil ( Casper and the Spectrals and other comics)
  • Kat Harvey ( Casper (film) and The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper )
  • Chris Carson ( Casper: A Spirited Beginning )
  • Holly Jolliemoore ( Casper's Haunted Christmas )
  • Richie Rich (the Richie Rich and Casper comics, his Harvey Girls Forever! episode)
  • Little Dot (his Harvey Girls Forever! episode)
  • Little Lotta (his Harvey Girls Forever! episode)

Enemies [ ]

  • Carrigan Crittenden ( Casper (film) )
  • Paul "Dibs" Plutzker ( Casper (film) )
  • Kibosh ( Casper: A Spirited Beginning , Casper: Activity Center , Casper's Haunted Christmas , Casper: Friends Around the World , Casper: Spirit Dimensions , Casper's Scare School , Casper's Scare School (TV series) and Casper's Scare School Classroom Capers )
  • Desmond Spellman ( Casper Meets Wendy )
  • Alder and Dash ( Casper's Scare School )
  • Thatch ( Casper's Scare School )
  • Willem George Volbragg ( Casper and the Spectrals )

Gallery [ ]

Casper as he appeared in the live-action movies.

References [ ]


  • 1 The Ghostly Trio
  • 2 Casper the Friendly Ghost
  • 3 Kathleen "Kat" Harvey

Screen Rant

Casper (1995): 15 behind-the-scenes facts about the friendly ghost's movie.

Casper got a live-action movie in the '90s. A cult classic today, there are some things about Casper's making that fans should know.

  • Casper was filmed in Maine, specifically in the town of Camden, which provided the perfect setting for the family-friendly spooky vibe of the movie.
  • The actors had to act alongside tennis balls on strings to serve as reference points for the animators to add CGI ghosts, showcasing the challenges of incorporating CGI technology in the '90s.
  • Despite its success and cult following, a sequel to Casper never materialized due to the underwhelming performance of direct-to-video sequels and scheduling conflicts with key actors like Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman.

Based on the Harvey Comic Casper the Friendly Ghost , Universal Pictures released a fantasy film in 1995 simply titled Casper that still has a cult following to this day. Starring Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, and Devon Sawa, the movie follows a spiteful heiress who hires Dr. James Harvey to hunt ghosts from her latest mansion. What results is Dr. Harvey and his daughter, Kat, making friends with Casper and his uncles as he tries to get them to cross over.

The film was a modest success at the box office and is still shown every Halloween on television. 28 years after the movie first hit theaters, it even became a top 10 streaming option on Netflix, showing that the love for Casper is still there. Despite the movie being a beloved '90s family classic, there's a lot modern audiences might not know about the movie, like where Casper was filmed. Casper launched the star of Devon Sawa and cemented Christina Ricci as an accomplished actor at a young age, so it's no wonder so many people have such fond memories of the movie.

Casper The Friendly Ghost: 13 Sad Facts About His Backstory

The actors spoke to tennis balls instead of ghosts.

With Casper and his uncles being ghosts, the talented people behind the movie had to create a focal point for the actors to look at before the animators went in and added CGI. To assist, they placed tennis balls on strings and had the actors look at them while acting.

Wherever the actor's eye movements went through the conversation is where the animators added the ghost's movements. Even in today's CGI-laden blockbusters, CGI can be quite expensive and having such a luxury in the '90s -- when the technology was only being perfected at the time -- was a huge deal.

Universal Studios Had Casper Exhibits

Universal Pictures and Universal Studios theme parks seem to go hand-in-hand these days with props from movies often being put on display at the parks. That usually involves something like a car from the Fast & Furious franchise that fans can pose with, but in 1995 when Casper hit theaters, that was an entire exhibit that theme park visitors could walk through to help promote the film’s release.

The display was set up at the theme park for four months. It included things like props on display but also exhibits explaining the technology used in the movie, and even a partial recreation of Whipstaff, the mansion in which Casper lives.

Casper Really Was Filmed In Maine

Because Dr. Harvey was a man who could talk to the dead, he traveled across America with his daughter Kat. When he got the call to talk to the ghosts inside Whipstaff Manor, he and Kat traveled to Friendship, Maine. As it turns out, most of Casper really was filmed in Maine.

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While Friendship was said to be the town they were in, Casper's Fandom page admits that most shots were filmed in the nearby town of Camden, Maine. Camden produced that safe yet haunting vibe so many family-friendly scary movies have.

Most Of The Mansion's Scenes Were Shot On A Set

Unlike Disney's Haunted Mansion , which has a definite location in California, the location of Whipstaff Manor is fuzzy at best. Cinemaholic notes that Whipstaff Manor is a real estate on the Eastern side of Canada, though others claim Whipstaff was mirrored after the Casa Batlló in Barcelona, Spain.

But regardless of where the exterior was shot, most of the interior shots were all filmed on set. The ballroom where Kat has her school's Halloween dance has been used in another project though.

The Backstreet Boys Visited Whipstaff

It’s no secret that set pieces can be reused quite a bit in Hollywood. It’s not often, however, that such a distinct-looking set like the pieces built to create Whipstaff mansion, get used in a way that audiences would be able to recognize them. That’s just what happened when the Backstreet Boys filmed one of their music videos though.

The music video for “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” utilizes pieces of the set created for Whipstaff. Specifically, the dance hall sequence uses the main floor of Whipstaff from Casper. It’s actually a very good choice since the music video sees the various members appear as classic movie monsters.

There Was A Cut Musical Number

Casper does appear like a film that would have one or two musical numbers in it. One can imagine Casper looking up at the moon and singing a soft melody about missing his mother. Maybe Kat would be singing a similar song since she too missed her mother.

As on-point as that sounds, Casper has no musical numbers in it but that wasn't always the plan. Casper's uncles were supposed to break into song. Titled "Lucky Enough to Be A Ghost," the song was about the trio's depression and the difficulties of being a ghost. The scene, however, was cut because it was too expensive.

Steven Spielberg's Cameo Was Cut

After exploring Whipstaff Manor and realizing there were real ghosts inside, Dr. Harvey runs into the bathroom to wash his face because he can't believe what he thought he saw. As he looks in the mirror, his face quickly changes to Clint Eastwood's, Rodney Dangerfield's, and finally Mel Gibson's (above). As fun as these cameos were, there was supposed to be one more cameo made by Steven Spielberg .

Spielberg filmed the scene but when it came time for the editing process, there were just too many cameos. Spielberg's bit ended up getting the cut because he wasn't the "strongest" of the group. Bill Pullman did an amazing job of being terrified at the three faces, though.

The Studio Lost Confidence In Casper 2

After the success of Casper, fans wanted to see more. A sequel seemed like the next logical step but before it could be filmed, Universal released a few direct-to-video sequels to keep fans interested (i.e. Casper: A Spirited Beginning and Casper Meets Wendy ).

Sadly, the direct-to-video sequels didn't do so well, which made Universal hesitant about any further Casper projects. After hiring director Simon Wells to write and direct the supposed follow-up, it was finally canceled due to scheduling conflicts with Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman .

Bill Pullman Portrayed Dr. Harvey For His Kids

Bill Pullman did a fantastic job as a single father and grieving widower. However, his name wasn't the only name in the pool of potential actors to play Dr. Harvey.

According to the Casper Fandom page, actors like Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Robin Williams were all potential candidates. The A.V. Club , meanwhile, reports that Pullman snagged the part of Dr. Harvey because of his kids. He said, " That was one I really remember looking forward to taking, so that I could bring my kids to the set. They were right at the perfect age to enjoy all the magic of that. "

Casper Was Voiced By A Real Child

When Casper transforms into a young boy, he's portrayed by Devon Sawa. But when Casper is a ghost, his voice is not Devon Sawa's but Malachi Pearson. At the time, Pearson was a child who also did voice work.

According to E! , Pearson auditioned for the role six times and didn't think he did well enough to land the part. " I thought I blew it so bad, I told my mom, 'I don't think I got this one! This one's over. '" Not too long after that, Pearson was offered the role of one of the most famous CGI ghosts in cinematic history.

Devon Sawa Considered A Sequel 20 Years Later

Devon Sawa is very active on social media, and he hasn’t been shy about talking about his career - or joking about it. In 2017, he spent some time on Twitter (now X) talking about movies he was interested in making sequels for, and both choices included those he worked on with Christina Ricci - Casper and Now And Then .

Sawa went as far as tweeting to Universal Pictures about Casper 2 , saying he was “ ready to make ” the sequel, and tweeting Marlene King, the writer of Now and Then , to ask about progress on the script. He was clearly just having some fun on social media though as the next day, he tweeted that he would rather make a Little Giants sequel instead. The platform has been a great way for Sawa to engage with fans who grew up with him in the 1990s and appreciated his coming-of-age movies.

Devon Sawa’s Chemistry With Christina Ricci Got Him The Role

Though Casper is voiced for the entire movie by another actor, another actor was needed to play the live-action version of the character for the brief scenes involving Casper getting to dance with Kat at her Halloween party. The actor needed to be closer to Ricci’s own age and height for the on-camera work.

According to Sawa, Ricci was instrumental in his being selected for the role because even as kids, they had great chemistry. Director Brad Siberling only affirmed Sawa’s assertion in recent years when he wrote on twitter that it was the “ color in Christina’s cheeks ” when they met that sealed the deal for the actor. Ricci and Sawa went on to work together again in Now And Then when Ricci recommended Sawa for a part in that movie as well.

JJ Abrams Is Responsible For “Can I Keep You?”

Possibly the most quoted line in Casper is “Can I keep you?” Casper says it to Kat twice, once when she’s falling asleep in his ghostly form, and once in his human form when they’re dancing together. It’s the line that allows Kat to know who Casper really is during the dance. That moment is courtesy of JJ Abrams, who modern audiences know for TV shows like LOST and his work in the Star Wars franchise.

Where The Casper Cast Is Now

JJ Abrams was brought into the movie to perform uncredited rewrites, something that often happens in Hollywood. Writers can “punch up” existing scripts for studios without their names appearing in the credits of the movie. Abrams was the one who wrote the additional scene with Casper getting the chance to be human for a few hours, and a casting call was sent out, which then got Devon Sawa his audition.

Casper Used More CGI Than Jurassic Park

Casper was far ahead of its time in terms of digital effects. The CGI was so amazing for the '90s and still looks fantastic today, despite its age. Even better, it wasn't just one ghost that was created via CGI; it was Casper's uncles and those who died and came back to life as well.

Shockingly, Casper's director Brad Silberling tweeted that there were " more CG shots in the kitchen sequence [of Casper] than in all of Jurassic [Park]. " The aforementioned scene involved Casper making everyone breakfast and his uncles blasting through the ceiling and eating all the food.

Christina Ricci Doesn't Think The Movie Made Sense

Christina Ricci was everyone's favorite spooky girl because of her dark features and bold eyes. After starring as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family , she was the perfect choice for Kat in Casper . However, years after the movie came out, Ricci was asked about her time in Casper and she had a shocking response:

Looking back, that movie sucked. It made no sense. I'm supposed to fall in love with a ghost? How does this work? And he's like a cartoon, well part of him?

While that might sound like Ricci would never have participated in a Casper sequel, she's made it clear since then that it wasn't solely the script that she takes issue with as an adult. She looks back on her performance and is very critical of it. Ricci was not happy with her performance in Casper at 13. That's perfectly understandable since the movie is a stepping stone in Ricci's career, but Casper will always be a beloved part of childhood for many fans.

How Did Casper Become a Friendly Ghost, and What Killed Him?

Casper is one of the most iconic pop figures of all time, yet one sad question has puzzled everyone: how did this little boy become a ghost?

Casper the Friendly Ghost . Just like the song says, Casper's the friendly ghost you know. Though grown-ups might look at him with fright, the children love him so. Yet any viewer who is even aware of Casper as a movie or a character notices something about him that is quite troubling: he is a child that is also a ghost, meaning he is the spirit of a dead child.

This innocent cartoon character has raised plenty of questions over the years regarding his origin — do ghosts just exist, or for Casper to be a ghost, does he have to be a dead child? It is a long-standing question that most adaptations of the characters tend to avoid, likely due to the grim reality of talking about a dead child and how that certainly does not make for a family-friendly viewing experience. However, the question has been asked so often regarding if Casper is a dead child, and how he died if so, that it has not only been pondered by audiences but even filmmakers. It would be about 50 years before the character got a proper explanation for his status as a ghost child. Here is a breakdown of how Casper came to be.

History of Casper the Ghost

Casper first appeared in a series of theatrical animated shorts from Famous Studios titled Casper the Friendly Ghost . Casper was created by Seymour Reit, Joe Oriolo, and Vincent E. Valentine II. The shorts ran from 1945 to 1959, which is around the time Harvey Comics purchased the rights to the Casper character from Famous Studios. Harvey had been publishing Casper comics since 1952 when he was one of the company's selling titles.

Related: Casper: Every Movie in the Franchise, Ranked

Casper's stories tend to follow a similar format: Casper tries to befriend humans but his ghostly appearance scares them, and he has to deal with his "uncles," the Ghostly Trio, who are often scaring people. This has been the basis for many Casper stories, with the fact that he is a child not mattering to the plot but only really existing as a fun way to feature a cute cartoon character for kids to connect with. It was sort of a given that this ghost was also a child, but as generations of fans grew up with Casper and got older, the question of the character's mortality began to be raised.

Previous Explanations For Casper as a Ghost

For much of Casper's existence, his status as a ghost kid never really was brought up in his original cartoons or comics. The most that got revealed was in the wholesome Harvey comics from the 1960s, that Casper is a ghost because his parents are ghosts. He didn't die but was instead just born a ghost. So he isn't a dead child but, instead, ghosts are sort of a separate species that can apparently procreate. Aside from the many more questions that raises about ghosts, it provided a semi-answer, although not an entirely satisfying one for fans.

Related: Goosebumps: Every Movie and TV Adaptation, Ranked

However, Casper being a kid ghost was a troubling notion for some. It was even joked about on The Simpsons , where Bart theorizes that Casper is the ghost of fellow Harvey comics character Richie Rich. That funny observation was made in the season two episode "Three Men and a Comic Book," which aired in 1991. This set the stage for the upcoming Casper movie to finally answer the age-old question: how did Casper die?

The Movie Reveals What Killed Casper

The 1990s saw a major boom in adaptations of classic television series . This ranged from live-action franchises like The Addams Family , Mission: Impossible , and The Fugitive to animated series getting the big live-action treatment, such as The Flinstones , George of the Jungle , and Dudley Do-Right . In 1995, Universal Pictures released Casper on Memorial Day weekend . The film was notable for being the first to have a CGI title character, and brought the lovable cartoon character to life like never before.

Yet with a big feature film adaptation, the filmmakers were tasked with finally explaining why there is a ghost child. Director Brad Silberling and screenwriters Sherri Stoner and Deanna Oliver crafted a backstory for Casper. In the film, it is revealed his real name was Casper McFadden (the first time he was provided with the last name). Casper was a 12-year-old boy who died of pneumonia after playing out in the snow for too long. His death motivated his father to spend the rest of his life trying to find a way to bring his son back, and his invention becomes a catalyst for the rest of the film.

Casper is a rather dark take on the classic material, but the filmmakers embraced the concept of death intrinsic to the character and made it the thematic hook of the movie. The entire film is about dealing with death . Showcasing that even a child can die is a bold creative risk for a family film, yet it makes for an emotionally powerful movie and even elevates Casper beyond its source material. Not much has been done with the character in recent years, though it was reported recently that a new Casper series on Peacock is being developed. It will be interesting to see if they keep the origin from the 1995 film or create a new explanation for why Casper is a ghost boy.

How Did Casper the Friendly Ghost Die?

By jake rossen | dec 23, 2019.

Universal Pictures

The star of dozens of animated shorts and specials, hundreds of comics, and one big-screen feature (which spawned a couple of straight-to-video follow-ups), Casper the Friendly Ghost has enjoyed a great deal of spooky success since he debuted in 1945. An affable spirit, the seemingly pre-adolescent blob of ectoplasm only wants to make friends. Unfortunately, people are consistently wary of his ethereal qualities. In the earliest shorts, he preferred to hang out by himself near a tombstone.

Does the tombstone belong to him? By virtue of being a ghost, doesn’t that mean Casper was once a real, live boy who suffered a tragic fate at a young age?

The Ghost With No Name

When Casper was created back in 1940 by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo, the question apparently didn’t come up. Reit and Oriolo planned to have Casper—who did not yet have a name—be the star of an illustrated children’s book, with Reit writing and Oriolo illustrating it. They never got the chance. The two, who worked at Fleischer Studios on animated shorts, were both drafted to serve in World War II. When they returned, Fleischer Studios had been purchased by Paramount, renamed Famous Studios, and wanted complete control over the intellectual property of work created by employees. The two sold Casper and other characters for a total of $200 to Paramount.

When Casper made his animated debut in the 1945 Famous Studios short “The Friendly Ghost,” he finally got a name , but no mention was made of his origins. The short references his “brothers and sisters” who enjoy scaring people but offers no other details of his private life.

A second short , 1948’s “There’s Good Boos To-Night,” shows Casper leaning on a tombstone while reading a book, with a “Love Thy Neighbor” sign hanging nearby. The ghosts in the cemetery are referred to as his “neighbors” and appear to rise from their respective resting places when it’s time to go haunting. This would imply Casper is relaxing at his own gravesite, though his name doesn’t appear on the tombstone. If so, it would support the idea he once occupied the land of the living.

As Casper moved into another medium, however, a case began to be made for his existence as something other than human. In 1949, St. John Publishing produced five Casper comics. In 1952, Harvey Comics took over the license. In an effort to expand Casper’s world, Harvey gave him a ghost family, including a mom and three uncles. None of them were named until 1955, when the uncles were dubbed Fatso, Fusso, and Lazo. What wasn’t clear, however, was whether Casper’s relatives were all deceased as well or whether the Casper mythology implies ghosts are simply "born" ghosts.

The Pneumonia Theory

When the Casper feature film starring Christina Ricci was released in 1995, producers apparently thought moviegoers would be confused by a lack of explanation, and so the Casper of that film was portrayed as a boy named Casper McFadden. He was said to have died of pneumonia at the age of 12 after staying out in cold weather for too long playing with a sled he had just received as a gift.

There is one alternative, and slightly darker, theory that was purportedly first floated by The Simpsons . In the 1991 episode “Three Men and a Comic Book,” Bart and Lisa speculate that Casper is the ghost of Richie Rich, another Harvey Comics icon. (The two bear a resemblance.) Lisa believes that his realization of “how hollow the pursuit of money really is” caused Richie to take his own life. Other observers have speculated that perhaps Richie’s parents killed their son for the insurance money.

This is, of course, virtually impossible, as Richie Rich wasn’t created until 1953, 13 years after Reit and Oriolo conceived of Casper.

So what is Casper—former boy or forever ghost? Given his comfort hanging around a tombstone and his pleasant nature preventing him from besmirching the grave of another, it seems likely he was once human. To date, only the 1995 feature has attempted to detail what led him to the afterlife. Considering Casper's appeal as a children's property, that's probably for the best.

  • Cast & crew
  • User reviews

Brad Garrett, Joe Alaskey, Joe Nipote, and Malachi Pearson in Casper (1995)

An afterlife therapist and his daughter meet a friendly young ghost when they move into a crumbling mansion in order to rid the premises of wicked spirits. An afterlife therapist and his daughter meet a friendly young ghost when they move into a crumbling mansion in order to rid the premises of wicked spirits. An afterlife therapist and his daughter meet a friendly young ghost when they move into a crumbling mansion in order to rid the premises of wicked spirits.

  • Brad Silberling
  • Joseph Oriolo
  • Sherri Stoner
  • Deanna Oliver
  • Bill Pullman
  • Christina Ricci
  • Cathy Moriarty
  • 164 User reviews
  • 45 Critic reviews
  • 49 Metascore
  • 5 wins & 5 nominations


  • Father Guido Sarducci

Fred Rogers

  • (archive footage)
  • (as Mr. Rogers)
  • Terry Murphy ('Hard Copy')
  • Woman Being Interviewed
  • (as Douglas J.O. Bruckner)

Joe Alaskey

  • The Crypt Keeper

Garette Ratliff Henson

  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

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Hocus Pocus

Did you know

  • Trivia This is the first feature film to have a fully computer-generated visual effects character in a leading role.
  • Goofs When Dr. Harvey and Kat are under the breakfast table, watching the three ghosts, the green screen is reflected in Dr. Harvey's glasses.

Casper : There's a girl... on my bed. YES!

  • Crazy credits The globe in the Universal logo fades into a full moon above Whipstaff Manor.
  • Connections Edited into Casper: Deleted Scenes (2003)
  • Soundtracks Casper The Friendly Ghost Written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston Performed by Little Richard Produced by Richie Zito and Little Richard Arranged by Richie Zito

User reviews 164

  • Nov 1, 2000
  • Is it true that this is connected to the Ghostbusters films?
  • May 26, 1995 (United States)
  • United States
  • Official Facebook
  • Con Ma Vui Vẻ
  • Rockport, Maine, USA (Anonymous)
  • Universal Pictures
  • Amblin Entertainment
  • The Harvey Entertainment Company
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $55,000,000 (estimated)
  • $100,439,549
  • $16,840,385
  • May 28, 1995
  • $288,039,549

Technical specs

  • Runtime 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Dolby Atmos

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