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Casper The Friendly Ghost Essay

1904 words - 8 pages

The film, Casper the Friendly Ghost, is an example of a haunting in a good sense. In other words, even though this film establishes ghosts haunting a mansion, it is done so in a friendly and almost acceptable way. This can lead the audience to think that all ghosts are sociable and there is essentially nothing to be afraid of because they cannot hurt you. I chose this film because it is a classical film I grew up on, and I remember being so fascinated with it as a child. Watching it again as a mature, young adult, I am able to still enjoy the film. In correspondence to this paper, I am able to think critically, and view this film in more analytical perspective. However, I was surprised to ...view middle of the document...

I say possessive because the audience is constantly reminded throughout the film that the house are the ghosts’ house and they refuse to leave or crossover. Casper also portrays this trait of possessiveness because he repeatedly asks Kat, “Can I keep you?” The point I think the film is trying to make through the representation of another plane of existence is that ghosts aren’t scary at all. In fact, some ghosts are goofy, transparent-like clouds who want to live life free of rules and responsibility. Then, there are some ghosts that want to just be alive and have someone to share their secrets with. Ghosts symbolize happiness in this film, unlike in other films where ghosts are unmindful spirits that want to hurt you.
According to TV columnist, Brian Lowry, who wrote a review of Casper on variety.com, the opportunities that allowed this film to exist or be made at this particular time was because of the “seemingly effortless special effects by alumni Dennis Muren and Michael Lantieri of the film Jurassic Park, and cinematographer Dean Cundey who worked on the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (Lowry, 1995). I do not necessarily agree or disagree with Mr. Lowry, but I do think that with the help of other technical assistants from other popular and successful films definitely helped with the making of Casper. In my opinion, these people not only helped with the making of this film, but they also assisted in making this film enjoyable and believable to children of young ages.
In the contemporary context, the costuming/appearance was more subtle, but at the same time it was perfect for the year the film was created. I think it was more appropriate for the year 1995 because everyone’s clothes were looser than and not as colorful as clothing is perceived to be worn today. Dr. James Harvey wore brown pants with a button up shirt, and he wore glasses. This was suitable considering the fact he “went crazy after his wife’s death”. Ms. Crittenden was considered to be a second class version of Creulla de Ville from the 101 Dalmatians. This I do not understand because I thought Ms. Crittenden’s role in the film was well played and certainly not overplayed or underplayed in any way. I also believe that Cruella de Ville was a one of a kind character, and personally a terrifying character. If Ms. Crittenden had been an exact replica of Cruella de Ville, then it would be too frightening for the targeted audience. Ghosts, a haunted mansion, and death are enough characteristics in a single child-like film, and the addition of a daunting Cruella de Ville would be too much in my opinion.
Additionally, Kat and even the teenagers in her class wore loose-like clothing with bland colors. Nobody really stood out clothing wise. However, specific actors and actresses such as Vic, Amber, and Kat had noticeable features which distinguished them from the supporting teenager cast. Examples include hair, eye color, aggressive/passive attitude, smile, and their noticeable...

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