Casper the Friendly Ghost

What do you do during Halloween when you’ve already gone to the Halloween Party cum Trick-or-Treat with neighborhood kids ages 3-13 the previous weekend? Well, me & my friends decided on the most restful thing to do: watch good ol’ CASPER the Friendly Ghost cartoons! Twas so fun and enjoyable! Lucky to have gotten hold of a disk full of an entire gamut of ol’ Casper cartoons, like:

–Casper and Wendy the Witch: “Which is Witch”?

–Casper on Halloween, meeting a girl friend who wasn’t afraid of him and going to a Halloween Party, only to find out that the ‘girl friend’ turns out to be a real ghost! What a lucky and joyful Casper!


CASPER the Friendly Ghost

Casper first appeared in a cartoon entitled (appropriately enough) The Friendly Ghost, based on an unpublished story written by Seymour V. Reit (who, among many other things, worked for Archie Comics and may have co-created Peter Porkchops and Peter Panda) and illustrated by animator Joe Oriolo (a protegé of Felix the Cat creator Otto Messmer, and mostly famous for TV cartoons about Felix). It’s unclear whether the idea for the story came from Reit or Oriolo. The cartoon was directed by Isadore Sparber and released by Paramount’s Famous Studios, as part of its “Noveltoons” series, in 1945. This sentimental tale of a ghost who didn’t want to scare anyone was well enough received to spark a sequel, There’s Good Boos Tonight (1948), also directed by Sparber.

This led to a full-blown series, some directed by Sparber and some by Seymour Kneitel. During the 1950s, Casper cartoons, which all had more-or-less the same plot, followed one upon another with monotonous regularity, outlasting all his Famous Studios contemporaries except Herman & Katnip. The last theatrically-released Casper cartoon was Casper’s Birthday Party, released July 31, 1959 and directed by Kneitel.

Casper was unusual among Famous Studios characters, in that he wasn’t a knock-off of something else.  Little Audrey was a transparent copy of Little Lulu; and Herman & Katnip were obviously cribbed from Tom & Jerry.  And although Baby Huey and his family eventually became better known than Chuck Jones’s version of The Three Bears, the Jones creation came first. But Casper was Casper, and not a copy of anything else. In fact, he spawned several comic-book imitators of his own, including Ajax’s Spunky the Smiling Spook, Marvel/Atlas’s Homer the Happy Ghost and Charlton’s Timmy the Timid Ghost.  ACG’s Spencer Spook was too early to be an actual knock-off, but probably owed much of his longevity in the marketplace to Casper’s popularity.

In 1949, Casper became a comic book character, when St. John Publishing secured the rights to do all of Paramount’s cartoon characters in that venue — and by the way, it was in St. John’s Casper the Friendly Ghost #1, September 1949, that Casper first received his actual name. In 1952, the license was transferred to Harvey Comics, which bought the characters outright in the late 1950s. Casper’s comics far outlasted his theatrical career — they were published regularly until 1982, and sporadically since. It was in the comics that he acquired his family, the Ghostly Trio; his ghost horse, Nightmare; and additional supporting characters such as Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost and Spooky’s girlfriend, Poil. It was also in comics that he made friends with Wendy the Good Little Witch, who later anchored her own Harvey Comics series.

(Read more here:

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As I expected, there’s a “Casper the Friendly Ghost” group in FB.

There are more than a million members!  C’mon & join

(if you’re not scared of ghosts…or if you like Casper…or both.)



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WATCH Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoons online, here:

Also, here: