Today's blog will be about Casper. I'm very fond of this friendly ghost. His cartoons were on every afternoon when I was a kid, and I read his Harvey comics, including his monthly crossover book, RICHIE RICH AND CASPER, which was Harvey's World's Finest.
Casper exists in more than one reality, and I'm going with a new system I've tried in a few other recent blogs, in which I combine them all in one timeline rather than using an AU section. We'll see how it works. NOTE THAT THE ENTRIES ARE DISCUSSING THE LOONIVERSE, UNLESS I NOTE OTHERWISE.
1938--CASPER: A SPIRITED BEGINNING--TELEVISION CROSSOVER UNIVERSE--Recently deceased, having died of pneumonia, Casper McFadden finds himself a ghost, and is conflicted between the call to be evil, and his naturally friendly nature.
1939--THE FRIENDLY GHOST--The book, later made into an animated short, introduces Casper, a child ghost who just wants to be friends.
1947--WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?--LOONIVERSE--This more than anything else is probably the glue that ties together the Looniverse. This story shows that almost every cartoon from the golden age of film all coexist in the same reality. Who's in it?
- Walt Disney-Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Pete, Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Chip 'n' Dale, Clara Cluck, José Carioca, Peter Pig, Bucky Bug, Gus Goose,Humphrey the Bear, The Merry Dwarfs from The Merry Dwarfs, The trees and flowers from Flowers and Trees, The gnomes from Babes In The Woods, The sun from Father Noah's Ark, The Three Little Pigs, Zeke Wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood, The orphans from Orphan's Benefit, Toby Tortoise, the girl bunnies, the snails, and the animal pedestrians from The Tortoise and the Hare, The water babies from Water Babies, Jenny Wren from Who Killed Cock Robin, Elmer Elephant and Joe Giraffe from Elmer Elephant, Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs, Evil Queen (appearing as the Witch), and the forest animals from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Ferdinand The Bull from Ferdinand The Bull, Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, and Lampwick from Pinocchio, Various Fantasia characters: broomsticks from The Sorcerer's Apprentice; Hyacinth Hippo and Madame Upanova from Dance of the Hours; Baby Pegasus, a unicorn, and the cupids from The Pastoral Symphony; and the Chinese mushrooms and Russian thistles from The Nutcracker Suite, The Reluctant Dragon and Sir Giles from The Reluctant Dragon, Dumbo, the crows, Mrs. Jumbo, Casey Junior, and one of the clowns from Dumbo, Bambi, The Great Prince, Faline, and Thumper from Bambi, Pedro the plane from Saludos Amigos, Ben Buzzard from The Flying Jalopy, Emotion from Reason and Emotion, Chicken Little from Chicken Little, Monte the pelican from The Pelican and the Snipe, Peter from Peter and the Wolf, Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Bear, the hummingbirds, the Tar Baby, and the Sis Moles from Song of the South, Willie the Giant and the Golden Harp from Mickey and the Beanstalk, The animals from Johnny Appleseed*, Danny from So Dear to My Heart*, J. Thaddeus Toad and Cyril Proudbottom from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad*, Mr. Walker from Motor Mania*, Bill the lizard, Tweedledum, Cheshire Cat, the doorknob, and a bulb horn bird from Alice in Wonderland*, The apartments and skyscrapers from The Little House*, Tinker Bell, John Darling, and the rhinoceros from Peter Pan*, Babe the Blue Ox from Paul Bunyan*, Maleficent's goons and the bluebirds from Sleeping Beauty*, The silhouette of Mary Poppins and the penguin waiters from Mary Poppins*, Kaa the python and Flaps the vulture from The Jungle Book*, Piglet from The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh*
- Warner Bros. /Looney Tunes-Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, Tweety, Mama Bear, Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn, Goofy Gophers, The Road Runner*, Wile E. Coyote*, Speedy Gonzales*, Marvin the Martian*, Marc Antony*, Sam Sheepdog*, Bugs Bunny Prototype, Yoyo Dodo from Porky in Wackyland and Dough for the Do-Do, George the fox from Of Fox and Hounds, Gracie the Fightin' Kangaroo from Pop 'Im Pop!*, Toro the Bull from Bully for Bugs*, Fennimore Frog from The Dodo and the Frog and Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!* (This means that Earth-C is the Looniverse!!!)
- MGM-Droopy, Spike, George, Screwy Squirrel, Meathead the dog, The octopus from Half-Pint Pygmy*, The witch from The Flying Sorceress*, Tom and Jerry - originally supposed to appear in a scene comforting each other in Marvin Acme's funeral, The wolf from Red Hot Riding Hood - originally supposed to appear in the nightclub scene howling at Jessica Rabbit.
- Paramount Pictures/Fleischer/Famous Studios-Betty Boop, Koko the Clown, Joker (the harlequin jack-in-the-box logo for Noveltoons), Wiffle Piffle from The Hot Air Salesman and Whoops! I'm a Cowboy, Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl - originally supposed to appear in a scene in Marvin Acme's funeral, Casper the Friendly Ghost - originally supposed to be seen mourning Marvin Acme at his funeral, Superman - originally storyboarded to appear in a scene cut from the film, comforting a sobbing Mighty Mouse at Marvin Acme’s funeral.
- Columbia Pictures/Screen Gems-The Fox and the Crow-originally storyboarded to have a cameo while Eddie's looking for Jessica in Toontown.
- Universal Studios/Walter Lantz-Woody Woodpecker, Buzz Buzzard*, Papa Panda
- 20th Century Fox/Terrytoons-Mighty Mouse - originally storyboarded to appear in a scene cut from the film, being comforted by the Fleischer Superman at Marvin Acme’s funeral, Heckle and Jeckle, The lion from The Temperamental Lion, Garfield* - originally he went to Toontown
- King Features Syndicate/Pat Sullivan-Felix the Cat
- United Feature Syndicate/Al Capp-Lena Hyena from Li'l Abner
- Hanna-Barbera-Yakky Doodle* - was originally supposed to be in the final scene with the Toons, Scooby-Doo* - was originally in Toontown
Note: *denotes anachronisms; these characters (or, in the cases of characters such as Tinker Bell and Marvin the Martian, the animated versions of them that appear in the film) were created and/or first appeared after 1947. But as screenplay writer Peter S. Seaman said, "The aim was entertainment, not animation history." There were a few notable Golden Age characters such as Popeye and Tom and Jerry missing from the movie due to legal copyright issues.
1948--THERE'S GOOD BOOS TO-NIGHT--Casper tries to save a fox from hunters, but the fox is killed, and become a ghost himself. Casper was born a ghost, but in the Looniverse, humans and animals can also become ghosts, or go to Heaven as angels, or go the Hell, or simply get resurrected. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to this.
1949 to 1950--ST. JOHN PUBLISHING--The first Casper comic was unsuccessful, lasting only five issues.
1950 to Present--HARVEY COMICS--Harvey Comics is where Casper was truly defined as a character with a supporting cast, which later worked it's way back into the cartoons. Note one thing that Harvey established was that Casper lives in an enchanted forest with fairy tale creatures, not quite on the same plane as Earth, but rather an astral plane.
1950--CASPER'S SPREE UNDER THE SEA--Casper saves a group of fish from fishermen.
1950--ONCE UPON A RHYME--Casper travels to Mother Goose Land and meets Mother Goose, Little Miss Muffet, Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, and the old lady who lived in a shoe. In the Looniverse, certain fairy tale characters seem to almost be like residual hauntings, as they are cursed to repeat the same events of their lives over and over again for eternity.
1951--BOO HOO BABY--Casper runs away from home, leaving a note for his parents, and ends up working at an orphanage.
October 31, 1951--TO BOO OR NOT TO BOO--After reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People", Casper attempts to implement what he's learned, but is unsuccessful until he meets a girl ghost at a Halloween dance.
1951--BOO SCOUT--Casper tries to join the Boy Scouts.
1951--CASPER COMES TO CLOWN--Casper befriends a circus bear.
1951--CASPER TAKES A BOW-WOW--Casper is exiled by the ghost community but accepted by the dog community.
1952--THE DEEP BOO SEA--Casper fails out of Ghost School, makes friends with kids playing pirate, saves them from a whale, and finds real sunken pirate treasure.
1952--GHOST OF THE TOWN--Casper is once again banished by the ghost community. He then saves a baby and is declared a hero, and is brought on the show "Toast of the Town". The evil ghosts see this and fear Casper will teach people to not fear ghosts, so they attack the studio, but you know, these types of ghosts really are powerless and ineffectual other and only can make scary sounds and faces and such, so when Casper tells the audience the ghosts are just an act, nobody is afraid.
1952--SPUNKY SKUNKY--Not sure of the plot here, but I'm sure it involves a spunky skunk. Sadly, IMDB only has plot descriptions for about half the cartoons, and even though it appears all the Casper cartoons are on YouTube, they are all mistitled so the titles are incorrect on all the cartoons. For instance, the video labeled Spunky Skunky ended up being Ghost of the Town.
1952--CAGE FRIGHT--Casper goes to the zoo and befriends a baby elephant.
1952--PIG-A-BOO--Casper befriends another trio of pigs with a wolf problem.
December 24 to 25, 1952--TRUE BOO--Casper writes a letter to Santa for a friend, but his uncles (the Ghostly Trio) steal the letter. Casper decides to go find one himself and meets Billy. (It's almost always a Billy.) He pretends to be Santa and spends Christmas with Billy and his mother.
February 13, 1953--FRIGHTDAY THE 13TH--This short takes place on Friday the 13th, and actually premiered on Friday, February 13, 1953.
1953--SPOOK NO EVIL--The title comes from the ancient Japaneselegend of three wise monkeys who "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".
1953--NORTH PAL--Casper saves a baby seal from a polar bear and is accepted by the baby's parents.
1953--BY THE OLD MILL SCREAM--Spook Bones is one of the performers at a ghostly talent contest. Spook Bones went to school with Casper and was seen graduating when Casper failed out in THE DEEP BOO SEA.
1953--LITTLE BOO-PEEP--After once more being kicked out of the ghost military (why do they keep redrafting him?), Casper once more returns to Fairy Tale Land and meets Bo Peep.
November 1953--DO OR DIET--Casper (who himself used to be overweight in the earlier cartoons) tries to help a turkey lose weight so he won't be Thanksgiving dinner.
1953--BOOS AND SADDLES--Casper meets a little boy named BILLY THE KID. In the Looniverse, the "wild west" era lasted up until around the 1980s. However, since Billy here (and it's always a Billy) is about four years old, and since Casper does have supernatural powers, I'm assuming Casper traveled back in time to 1863.
1954--BOO MOON--Casper travels to the moon where he discovers it is inhabited by aliens.
1954--CASPER GENIE--Casper pretends to be a genie.
1954--PUSS'N'BOOTS--Casper makes friends with some kittens.
1954--BOOS AND ARROWS--This time in the present, Casper encounters savage Indians, since in the Loonverse, the west is still wild and unsettled up until around the 1980s.
1954--BOO RIBBON WINNER--Casper helps train an out of shape greyhoud.
1955--HIDE AND SHRIEK--Casper's mom appears, as well as Casper's cousin Spooky.
1956--DUTCH TREAT--Casper saves an entire town in Holland when the dam breaks.
1957--SPOOKING ABOUT AFRICA--Casper travels to Africa.
1957--GHOST OF HONOR--Casper attends a premiere of one of the animated films based on his life, and Casper gives an interview where he explains how he was discovered and his afterlife became the focus of animated films. HERMAN AND CATNIP, SPUNKY, LITTLE AUDREY, BABY HUEY, PAL, TOMMY TORTOISE AND MOE HARE, WOLFIE and BUZZY THE CROW all appear.
1957--HOOKY SPOOKY--Spooky plays hooky to scare zoo animals. Note that Casper is back in ghost school.
1958--GHOST WRITER--A cartoon documentary explaining how cartoons are made, including a Casper cartoon, which has already been established to be a "reality show".
1958--HEIR RESTORER--Casper visits an old haunted castle in England where the ghost there wants to move on to the ghost retirement home, but can't unless he can be replaced. Casper finds an orphan baby ghost to replace him.
1958--SPOOK AND SPAN--Casper enters a pig in the county fair.
1958--WHICH IS WITCH?--Casper has a date with Wendy, and Spooky is upset that Casper won't play baseball. Well, at least he has friends now.
1963 to 1969--THE NEW CASPER CARTOON SHOW--New cartoons on Saturday mornings. This series very much featured the cast of characters from the Harvey Comics, such as the Ghostly Trio, Spooky, Wendy, and Nightmare.
1974 to 1982--RICHIE RICH AND CASPER--Richie Rich begins regularly travelling to the Enchanted Forest where Casper resides, and each time thinks he's dreaming.
1979--CASPER AND THE ANGELS--Casper ends up in outer space working with THE SPACE PATROL.
December 24 - 25, 1979--CASPER'S FIRST CHRISTMAS--Despite the title, this isn't his first Christmas. Casper is living in a haunted house with Hairy Scary (from CASPER AND THE ANGELS), when YOGI BEAR, BOO BOO, HUCKLEBERRY HOUND, SNAGGLEPUSS, QUICK DRAW MCGRAW, AUGIE DOGGIE and DOGGIE DADDY show up after getting lost. The song they sing in this special, "Coming Up Christmas Time" is later used in YOGI'S FIRST CHRISTMAS, but since Yogi celebrates here, Yogi's First Christmas must happen before this one.
1995--CASPER--TELEVISION CROSSOVER UNIVERSE--A father and daughter move into a house haunted by Casper and the Ghostly Trio. Though this film could fit into a shared reality with the cartoons, the later sequels contradict the prior canon. The crossovers in this film regardless place this in the TVCU, as both Ray Stanz of the GHOSTBUSTERS and Father Guido Sarducci from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE try to rid the house of the ghosts, but fail. FATHER GUIDO SARDUCCI--Besides his appearances on SNL, he has appeared on GILDA LIVE, BECOME AN ARTIST, SQUARE PEGS, ON LOCATION: THE COMEDY STORE'S 11TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW, JOAN RIVERS AND FRIENDS SALUTE HEIDI ABROMOWITZ, FATHER GUIDO SARDUCCI GOES TO COLLEGE, NOT NECCESSARILY THE NEWS, IT'S GARRY SHANDLING'S SHOW, GREAT PERFORMANCES, TALES OF THE CITY, BLOSSOM, THE GORDON ELLIOT SHOW, CASPER, MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, HO HO NOOOOOOO!!!! IT'S MR. BILL'S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER, MAKING TUTTI, SIN CITY SPECTACULAR, THE COLBERT REPORT, and THE RALLY TO RESTORE SANITY AND/OR FEAR. In this film, we see what Casper looked like when he was alive, and that his last name was McFadden. Casper seems to have died of pneumonia. This conflicts with the animated studios and Harvey Comics, in which Casper and his fellow ghosts are born ghosts. Their parents are ghosts. They were never human. Ghost is their species, just as with goblins, trolls, leprechauns or other supernatural species.
1996 to 1998--THE SPOOKTACULAR NEW ADVENTURES OF CASPER--TELEVISION CROSSOVER UNIVERSE--More adventures of Casper living with the Harvey family from the 1995 film.
1997--MARVEL COMICS--I'm assuming this is still the Looniverse version, though it comes out amidst the TVCU film era.
1998--CASPER MEETS WENDY--TELEVISION CROSSOVER UNIVERSE--Yeah, pretty much Casper meets Wendy for the first time in the TVCU reality.
2000--CASPER: FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD--Video game.
December 2000--CASPER'S HAUNTED CHRISTMAS--Casper is ordered by the ghost tribunal that he must scare someone by Christmas, and he really tries, but when he can't do it, the Ghostly Trio hire Spooky to step in and do it for Casper.
2005--FAMILY GUY PRESENTS STEWIE GRIFFIN: THE UNTOLD STORY--BONGO ANOMALY--Stewie's friend Casper is hit by a car and turned into a ghost. This can't be either the Looniverse or TVCU versions, but perhaps its just coincidentally another kid named Casper, or maybe this is the TVCU2 Casper. I'm not going to stress out trying to figure it out, but it did occur in the Anomaly, so it's being listed. While Peter is ranting on the news he mentions that he can’t find the droids he’s looking for, then shows Imperial Stormtroopers agreeing with him. When Peter is describing a porn film to the worker at Lackluster Video, the phrase “stuff comes out” is cut.
2006--CASPER'S SCARE SCHOOL--The ghost community ships Casper off to a school for scaring that consists of mummies, zombies, werewolves, etc.
2009--THE NOSTALGIA CRITIC--"Casper"--The Casper of the Looniverse, having learned to be not so friendly at Scare School, travels to the TVCU where he tortures the Nostalgia Critic by making him watch the 1995 film of his TVCU counterpart.
2009--ROBOT CHICKEN--"Tell My Mom"--ROBOT CHICKEN UNIVERSE--The Casper of this reality apparently drowned in the backyard pool.
2011--ROBOT CHICKEN--"Big Trouble in Little Clerks 2"--ROBOT CHICKEN UNIVERSE--This Casper is kind of evil.
2012--MET LIFE-- L to R: The Creeper (from Scooby Doo), Penelope Pitstop, The Slag Brothers, Grape Ape (and that conman dog friend of his), Cindy Bear, Gossamer, Snagglepuss, the elephant and the dog from THE BANANA SPLITS, The GREAT GAZOO, The Jetsons (with Rosie and Elroy down below), MYstery Inc, Voltron, Squiddly Diddly, Quickdraw McGraw, The Wolf from Tex Avery shorts, He-Man riding Battle Cat, Fat Albert and friends, Magilla Gorilla, The Witchdoctor, The Clown, an abnormally large Jabberjaw, Waldo, and the Gruesome Twosome. And of course, Caspar the Friendly Ghost shows up
Before I wrap up and say good night, I'd like to say that I watched a lot of Casper cartoons for research, and every one has him starting off with no friends. He then makes at least one friend, often being accepted by a family or a whole community. By the next one, he has no friends again. Also, he usually starts off with his ghost community and gets kicked out. By the next one, he's back with the ghosts. I believe that it's the Trio and the Ghost Tribunal Army that is the cause of this. They don't want him being friendly, and when he makes friends, I believe they are scaring them off, then forcing Casper to come back for reeducation.