Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The friendliest ghost you know!

To watch all of those ghost hunter shows that litter the airwaves these days, you'd think all specters want to do is vex loudmouth dudes in Ed Hardy shirts. But can you blame them? Who wouldn't want to scare those guys away. Fact is, some ghosts can be perfectly nice, not to mention adorable, as we know from the 75-year-old (but ever childlike) ghost Casper.

Casper began life (or death?) in 1939 as a character in an unpublished children's book, and then sprang from its pages in his own 1945 animated shorts. Unlike most of his other ghostly compatriots, however, Casper has never been interested in scaring humans. Instead, he wants to befriend them and every other living thing, as his theme song declares. Trouble is, Casper often spooks without meaning to because people can't see past his ghostly veneer. Ironic, since Casper is in fact see-through.

Casper has starred in comic books and cartoons throughout his life/deathtime, and in 1995 a live-action Casper film was made featuring a computer-animated Casper. Today's song was the theme for that movie--a rousing rendition of the classic Casper song performed by Little Richard! So put that EVP meter down and just give this friendly little ghost a chance. He's really glad to meetcha!

Bonus! Check out the first-ever Casper cartoon, 1945's "The Friendly Ghost." Casper was a bit portlier then, and the tone of the story is a bit darker (Casper tries to kill himself even though he's already dead), but the cartoon sets up the premise that pretty much every other Casper story would follow.

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