Kid Tested – Uncle Approved: “Casper” (1995)

Casper_1413915723Ah, nostalgia.

I haven’t seen “Casper” since I was probably ten or 12 years old. My sister and I used to watch it in pretty heavy rotation, so much so I still have most of it memorized. I also maintained a crush on Christina Ricci for many years thanks to this movie.

Based on the popular cartoon, “Casper” is the story of Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter Kat (Ricci) who move into a haunted house in Maine on the request of horrible Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty) and her manservant Dibbs (Eric Idle) in order to rid the house of its four resident ghouls. The youngest of said ghosts is Casper, and despite his awful uncles Stretch, Stinkie, and Fatso, all he wants is a friend. When Dr. Harvey arrives to help them pass over, Casper and Kat become fast friends. After she’s finds all his old toys in the attic, Casper remembers his father’s invention that could bring ghosts back from the dead in his underground laboratory. Meanwhile, Carrigan and Dibbs have been on the hunt for a supposed treasure buried somewhere in the house and will stop at nothing to get their hands on it.

Chock-full of cameos such as Father Guido Sarducci, Ghostbuster Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Clint Eastwood, Rodney Dangerfield, and Mel Gibson, also featuring Amy Brenneman (The Leftovers, Private Practice) and Devon Sawa (teen heart-throb my wife STILL talks about) and the voice talents of Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond, most Disney/Pixar movies), “Casper” is a delightful romp with surprisingly good special effects for 20 years ago. While the story gets a little cheesy at times, it’s actually a pretty great story about love, loss, and family. The part about Casper’s father and his laboratory is a little strange and out of left field and it also makes the house about seven times bigger than it seems, but it’s forgivable if only to watch Eric Idle do more comedy. And I’ll say this, just watching them run around that dusty and cobweb-filled old house makes my allergies go crazy.

There are a few scares early in the movie, but they’re followed up with slapstick comedy almost immediately. There’s a little bit of language as it is rated PG, but nothing they won’t hear on TV anyway.

“Casper” is a great trip down memory lane that proves there are still a few friendly ghosts.

Snack Packs



Rating: 5 out of 5 Snack Packs

Lincoln L. Hayes is an actor and filmmaker living in Vermont. His new film “What Kent Did” is now available online. Find it at

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