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The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper: Wikis

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The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper (also known as simply Casper) was an animated television spin-off of the feature film Casper, which, in turn, was based on the Harvey Comics character of Casper the Friendly Ghost.

The series was NBC Universal's last animated television series produced by Amblin Entertainment until 2007's The Land Before Time, based on The Land Before Time films.

Contents

Production

It aired on FOX television from 1996-1998. 52 episodes were produced, but only the first 46 appeared on FOX, with the remaining debuting on FOX Family Channel. Many of the same people who worked on this show also worked on Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain (the latter of which was a spin off from the former, coincidentally, the former had also debuted on FOX).

The new Casper broke from earlier versions, following a sitcom-style pattern of one-liners and pop culture gags in a manner similar to the Casper feature. Apparently the update worked, as Casper hit the top of the ratings chart for children's animation in its first of two seasons on the air. The show would also frequently break the fourth wall. The show used old Casper supporting characters such as Casper's cousin Spooky, Spooky's "ghoulfriend" Pearl (or "Poil" as rendered by Spooky's Brooklyn accent), and Nightmare the Ghost Horse who, unlike in the original cartoons and comics, does not actually talk (though voiced by Frank Welker). The show also introduced new characters, including Casper's super-loud teacher Ms. Banshee.

Characters

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Casper

Casper McFadden has been haunting his family home of Whipstaff Manor for some time, having died from pneumonia (according to a newspaper seen during the scene in the attic from the feature film) after he played out in the cold for too long when he was twelve years old. Now in the care of his three wicked uncles, Stretch, Stinkie and Fatso, Casper's afterlife is not exactly pleasant. He has had to put up with his uncles' outrageous antics and his wish to gain a friend is always ruined. Casper is very friendly and outgoing, but he sometimes appears rather shy. As in the film, he is voiced by Malachi Pearson.

The Ghostly Trio

The Ghostly Trio are Casper's uncles, and they hate mortals, or as they call them, "fleshies", "skinsacks" and "bone-bags." They include Stretch, the hot-headed leader, Stinkie who almost always smells and uses his bad breath on others, and Fatso, who loves to eat. The three are chaotic in every sense and can't resist scaring no matter what the cost. However, there is a turning point to their horrid ways when they keep their promise to Dr. Harvey, and get his wife Amelia for him in the film. As in the feature film, they are voiced by Joe Nipote, Joe Alaskey and Brad Garrett.

Dr. Harvey

Dr. James Harvey (or "Doc" as he is called by the Ghostly Trio) is a psychiatrist and is shown to be an alumnus of Johns Hopkins University. After his wife Amelia's death, he has gone on to become a "ghost therapist," only to find and make contact with his wife, because he believes she is a ghost. However, after learning that she instead became an angel, he and his teenage daughter Kat stay at their new home of Whipstaff, where he continues to work as a ghost therapist, trying (unsuccessfully) to rehabilitate the mischief-making Ghostly Trio.

Dr. Harvey has to put up with the Ghostly Trio, who have learned to like him, but nevertheless he has as well. Dr. Harvey is an easy-going guy with a big heart. He obviously loves Kat, although he sometimes appears rather neglectful of his now motherless daughter's emotional needs. As demonstrated in the scene from the film where he speaks with his angelic wife, he is worried that he's not taking good care of her, but Amelia assured him that he was doing a good job, although she gave him some "motherly" advice ("Don't pick up the extension every time she gets a phone call, french fries are not a breakfast food..." etc.)

The role was originated by Bill Pullman in the Casper film, but he is voiced by Dan Castellaneta on the show.

Kat Harvey

Kathleen "Kat" Harvey is the daughter of Dr. Harvey and is portrayed as the stereotypical teenager who has a sense of humour.

She is about thirteen years old (about the age Christina Ricci, who originated the role in the Casper film, was when the movie was filmed) and is a good companion to Casper. Kat hates having to put up with the Ghostly Trio, because none of them get along with her as would be expected. Kat is voiced by Kath Soucie on the show.

Spooky

Spooky is Casper's mischief-minded cousin. He looks up to the Ghostly Trio as his heroes and despises his cousin's lack of interest in scaring humans. As such, Spooky is always trying to out-scare Casper and become the best in class. However, underneath the gruff, ghostly exterior, Spooky may also have a slight soft spot for his cousin. Spooky is visually very similar to Casper, but he has a black nose and freckles, wears a brown derby hat, and speaks in a Brooklyn accent. He is voiced by Rob Paulsen.

Pearl

Pearl or "Poil" (as pronounced by Spooky) is Spooky's "ghoulfriend". Often absent-minded, Pearl is almost always oblivious to current situations and takes things way too literally. She adores Spooky and everything about him, right down to the freckles on his face, is good friends with Casper and doesn't care as much for the Ghostly Trio as Spooky does. She is voiced by Miriam Flynn.

Ms. Banshee

Ms. Banshee is the teacher at Casper, Spooky and Pearl's ghost school. Befitting her name, Ms. Banshee can yell loud enough to be heard several towns away, even to wake the dead. Ms. Banshee enjoys being a teacher but dreams of being a professional opera singer. The Ghostly Trio (all three of them) have a crush on Ms. Banshee and constantly compete for her affections. Ms. Banshee is okay with the Trio but remains unimpressed with their efforts. She is voiced by Tress MacNeille.

Availability

From 1997 throughout 2000, Universal Studios Home Video released episodes from seasons 1, 2, and 3 onto VHS. Universal Studios Home Entertainment later released The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper Volume 1, which consists of the first 15 episodes of the animated series, on DVD in Region 1 on September 18, 2007. Vol. 2, which contains the last 12 episodes of season 1, was released on September 9, 2008. As of November 14, 2009, Universal has not announced any plans to release additional episodes on DVD.

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