Casper: A Spirited Beginning (Video 1997) Poster

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ADG-811 July 2004
I loved the first movie, and I still do... I can't believe they ruined this sequel... there shouldn't have been any sequel in the first place anyway...

It's not just the boring story that annoys me, but the fact they changed the story. The first movie takes place after this movie, where they mention a lot of things from the past, but in this movie they just ignored the history lesson from the first movie, and completely rewrite Casper's history...

You remember in the first movie Casper used to live in the house? In this movie he only found this house my 'accident', without having ever lived there before...

I hate when they change important parts of the story in films... :shame:
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What a load of rubbish!
dsnw432533 November 2002
Considering this was made AFTER the original Casper, the effects are a lot worse. The acting is diabolical and the story is terrible. The only thing that is any good in this film is James Earl Jones' voice. I do understand that this is SUPPOSED to be a kids movie but for very little kids it might be a little scary and for very big kids, they'll have a field day ripping into this movie. Enough said I think.
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Just plain awful
Willow19219 March 2001
I have to admit, that I did like Casper. But I hated this movie. I think it premiered on FOX Family or something. It's going back to before the first Casper. This is the most horrible remake I have ever seen. It seems like one of those made for FOX Family movies. The little kid playing Chris Carson is a horrible actor. He practically screams out his lines and sounds like he is reading from cue cards the whole time. Steve Guttenburg, who's career can be summed up as dead alive, was extremely mediocre in this movie. But hey, if Hollywood bigshots won't take you, you can at least display you 'talent' on movies like this, that are corny enough to feed all of the starving people in China. The redeeming character was Lori Loughlan, who was the only person on 'Full House' that I could stand. But she couldn't save this movie. The most insulting part in the movie is when the little ugly girl from 'Big Bad Beetle Borgs' (ewww) jumps into Chris's arms in fear, and Chris says "Casper, I like the effect you on on people!". CORNY! I hated the way the ghosts looked...and how the exceeded the normal amount of obnoxiousness. Don't watch this movie. Avoid it at all costs. It's nothing special. Score: 1 out of 10.
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The 1995 movie is my favourite movie of all time, with great voice-overs and touching performances and a good plot. This was the first Casper flick made by Power Ranger creators Saban, and can't you tell. It's dire. There's no continuity with the first film, many, many character errors, terrible acting, ridiculous plot and the story was awful. Awful. And to make it even worse they came out with two more tripe sequels after this one. Oh woe. Bring back the animated series (based on the '95 movie), that was better than the three shabby sequels put together, and then some!

Please, please, don't waste your money on this. I wouldn't even buy it for a very young child. Even they can tell that this is just a sad rip-off, riding on the first films success.
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TheLittleSongbird12 June 2011
I really like the 1995 original movie, it was cute and charming and worked really well as a family film. Casper and Wendy was mediocre and forgettable, but this movie was just a waste of time. The only half-decent things about it were the way the ghosts looked and the costume and set design. The other effects look cheap and the rushed editing doesn't give them any favours. The story is a mess, not only is it paced unevenly and thin, but like re-writing Casper's history it is so contradictory, while the script is deplorable severely lacking in genuine humour and heart, the slapstick is tedious and tired and other than Casper there are no likable characters. The acting is pretty much rubbish from almost all involved, with the ghostly uncle trio are more annoying than funny, in fact only Casper walks away with any dignity. All in all, awful and a waste of time. 1/10 Bethany Cox
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A bad sequel to a good movie
MovieFan98324 January 1999
This wasn't very good at all. It had corny acting and dorky dialogue. The special effects and the ghosts were the best part. 3 out of 10.
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Casper: A Spirited Beginning
Jackson Booth-Millard11 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is basically an excuse for a prequel to the original and quite successful family film, but it is just another crap failure. This straight to video film tells the story of the friendly good-natured young ghoul that we have grown to love (not in this), and how he became a ghost. Casper begins on a train filled with ghosts, then he goes to the city and discovers he is a ghost. The only problems is that he does not want to scare people, he wants to make friends. He becomes friends with a young boy, but he is told by three other ghosts that he shouldn't be friendly. This is just corny, stupid comedy, alright animation and rubbish acting. Poor!
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Some good talent is badly wasted.
ABernst10016 June 2002
"Casper" scares most of the cast away while trying to save a house from being demolished. Look fast for "Starship Trooper" star Casper Van Dien as an applauding bystander. Take note: Van Dien also appears in the other video "Casper Meets Wendy" when he passes Wendy's aunts at a party.
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Watch the 1995 film.
aaronmocksing198718 May 2008
To anyone who has said this movie was better than the original movie, I must say I don't agree with you both. The other film had finesse, taking a simple thing like a comic book and cartoon character from the days of animation yore and made it into something with heart, comedy, brilliance, rolled into a neat little package. Either this was made simply to cash in on the previous movie's success or Casper's name alone, because I found all of the continuity errors completely destroying the film more than anything else.

This is a prequel? No talent was put together into even writing a decent script, and the acting is... oh lord. Steven Guttenberg, sir, I believe you ought to go back and continue doing Police Academy again. I guess the 80's thing hasn't left you so please, go back with it.

And the sad part of this movie is, it's just one in the following sequels that would come that would make Casper ought to consider being as ticked off as the Ghostly trio themselves. Someone stop, or at least get some people to reinvigorate the heart that went into Kat and Dr. Harvey in the original movie.
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Sean A. Owens21 November 2005
This movie is just plain horrible! It may have been a good idea to make a new live-action Casper movie in the mid 1990's being based on a famous animated character, which wasn't too bad, but to make more of them? That's just an overkill there! Why do I think this movie is horrible? Well, to start things off, the opening credits are extremely nauseating. When I start up a movie and see something like that, I automatically want to shut it off! This isn't really considered a sequel to "Casper", but more of a prequel. It basically tells the story of how Casper's afterlife began. Overall, the movie has terrible acting and poorly done CG effects. Avoid this movie at all costs!
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Absolutely terrible prequel!
RetroMagFan28 December 2016
Just one look at the trailer that IMDb has to offer should tell you to steer clear of this dreadful excuse for a prequel.

However if you're a bit of a weirdo who likes to dip your toes into all sorts of random stuff, be my guest and take a nice seat.

We kick things off with an incredibly awful song at the start of the film, it's enough to make you wanna fling the disc out of the window. The fact we have people like KC & The Sunshine Band doing the songs make you think "Dang, they must have been desperate."

If you thought the pain was gonna stop there, oh no, for we must dig deeper into this soulless drivel.

The film starts off all CG with a ghost train sequence... and oh man this CG looks as dated as a soggy can of tuna. Honestly, everyone looks really cut price and very TV like here, you'll swear they probably blew all the budget into getting some well known actors.

Once Casper gets kicked off the train and lands in our world, things do not pick up... in fact it only gets worse from here.

There is not a single ounce of humour to be found, not one single bit. Everyone running away from Casper in a cartoon-like style to me just doesn't cut the mustard and makes everyone looks like a bumbling idiot.

The acting is quite purely dreadful from nearly everyone, most of these actors feel more at home on some rubbish CITV or CBBC sitcom that would get cancelled after only 10 eps or so.

Steve Guttenberg continues to fall off the film chart, the child actor is grating to say the least and any film that has Pauly Shore in it (besides A Goofy Movie because he's hardly in it but whatever) should come with a warning sign attached to the cover.

The only people coming out with any dignity is James Earl Jones who's good as the main villain besides the fact he's given nowt to do for most of the film, Bill Farmer, Jess Harnell and Jim Ward as Stinky, Fatso and Stretch who do fine despite the largely unfunny material they're given and possibly Lori Loughlin who does alright as well.

And it's quite fun to see some cameos from people like Ben Stein, Michael McKean and even a pre Starship Troopers Casper Van Dein.

But other than that, that is it, that's all this rubbish prequel has to offer in terms of goodness.

The fact this piece of rubbish went straight to video should have immediately told people it ain't worth watching.

And the fact that Saban made it too... it's starting to remind me way too much of Power Rangers now, god dammit.

Go go Power Rangers?
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Beginning of the end
Mia Gdowska BMus Hons1 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I loved Casper one with Bill Pullman. This movie should have never been made. The only people holding this movie together is Kibosh and Steve Guttenburg. The young boy is sweet. The jokes were forced from the actors alike. His school teacher was nice. I agree with other comments on this movie. My stepdaughter loved the first movie. When she saw this one she turned the TV off in a huff. The follow up Casper movies also sucked. The storyline wasn't bad it was the script that let the movie down big time. Chris (Billy no mates) didn't have any other human friends? This is one to easily forget. It was nice to see Rodney Dangerfield make a cameo appearance. Bulldozer
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Flawed, but not terrible.
DarkHeroesForever .1 July 2015
After the success of the 1995 theatrical film, Casper, there were talks in doing a sequel, but Universals felt like the standard moviegoers wouldn't be interested in one, so Fox end up buying the rights and produced the animated series that appeared in Fox Kids which is a follow up to the film. In 1997 Fox released the direct-to-video film, "Casper: A Spirited Beginning" which is supposed to be a prequel to the original film.

When the film was release, people criticize it for it's bad affects on the ghost characters, and for it failing to stay true to the storyline of the first film as it was recall in the first film, that Casper died over 100 years ago while in "A Spirited Beginning" he died on present day. This was the first Casper film I remember owning on VHS, so despite the negative backlash the film receives, I will always have a soft spot for it. As a kid, I enjoyed the film, but as I got older began to see the some of the films problems with it's cheap affects and story. My problems lean more towards the story than it's affect, since this is a direct-to-video feature, I can forgive it's affects for not being as good as the original.

The story is what really brings the film down for me. I feel like this film comes across as false advertising in which I will get to in a moment. The film starts with Casper inside of a ghost train heading towards the ghost central that is run by the monstrous ghoul, Kibosh. When Casper gets thrown out of the train, he finds himself in the real world, with no support or direction. He meets up with a boy name Chris Carson who has a love for ghosts and will help him with his ghost powers. When Kibosh discovers Casper's absence, he sent forth his assistant, Snivel to find Casper and the Ghostly Trio, who happen to skip training as well, and bring them back.

Now, this is where the film comes across as false advertising because when you see the advertising, most of it revolves around Casper, The Ghostly Trio, Kibosh and Snivel in the Spirit World and based on the little summary I just gave, you think this is what the film is going to be. Well, not exactly because you see the film seems focuses more on the family drama between Chris and his father Tim Carson, who is a man that focuses more on his job than on his son, and Casper's whole story arc becomes more of an afterthought as he tries to fix this dysfunctional relationship. I think the family drama would work, if it was more in the background, and not have it feel like the driving force of the film. I feel like the climax of the film, with Chris getting locked up inside the Applegate Mansion with the bomb that was rigged to blow, was uncalled for and having Kibosh, showing up at the last minute having a very underwhelming final confrontation with him, Casper and The Ghostly Trio was unjustified.

While most of the affects of the film aren't as good as the original, there are some affects that I like; one in particular is the Ghost Train. The Ghost Central was okay, but you don't really get a full scale of it. Kibosh is without a doubt the highlight of the film, mainly down to him being voiced by James Earl Jones and having threatening presence when he is on screen, and his theme tone really brings out the evil and menacing of the character. There are points where I felt it sounds somewhat similar to the Imperial March in Star Wars, but maybe that's just me. As I said before, the confrontation with him in the end is underwhelming and as for his sidekick Snivel, he was okay, but he does come across as annoyance at times.

The Ghostly Trio are just as fun as they are in the original, but they don't have as much screen time this time around. Casper and Chris do have somewhat of chemistry, but not as strong as say Casper's chemistry with Kat, but I really do like them as friends. Tim comes off very unlikable, but it was nice to see him redeem himself in the end when he apologizes to Chris for not being there for him. Chris's teacher Sheila Fistergraff is very forgettable; there is nothing more I could say about that. Now, there are some scenes with her are solid, but there are some that comes off as very cringe worthy. I felt like the whole story with saving Mansion felt unnecessary, and it just plots along.

Overall, the film does has it's problems. It certainly isn't as good as the original film, but I don't think it's overall bad, at least it's villain is more memorable as oppose to the one in the original. It has some bad one liners and bad puns, but it is a fun and entertaining film that can be enjoyed, if you are a fan of the Casper character. I do recommend seeing it, but view as on it's own terms and tried not to link itself to the first film, it does stands on its own.
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Mister-69 February 2000
This is the kind of attitude the original "Casper" should have had.

In "Casper: A Spirited Beginning", the first film is basically forgotten as Casper finds himself thrown off a train headed for ghost-training camp an dlanding in Deedstown, where he manages to scare everybody except a small boy (Barrett)who happens to love ghosts but spends most of his time being bullied by other kids, mentored by a kind-hearted teacher (Loughlin) and trying to get the attention of his workaholic father (Guttenberg).

But whereas the first movie's themes were a little too dark for all ages, this one basically touches on topics most kids can understand; being misunderstood, wanting their parents love, getting even with the bullies, making new friends and preserving local history (okay, maybe not ALL kids, but most of them).

There are some great effects here, but not as dazzling as the ones in the first "Casper". You can how mechanical the FX make the ghosts move here, especially when they talk. Yet the voices for them are all well-done; Jones, Farmer, Harnell and Ward make the most of their parts as, respectively, Kibosh, the leader of the Ghost World, and the Ghostly Trio. But Pauly Shore is kind of a shock; he's actually a lot less annoying here as the voice of the ghost Snivel. Who would have thought THAT??!

They even manage to make a semi-reference to "Mission: Impossible" half-way through. Didn't see that one coming, gotta hand it to them.

All in all, a well-made effort that again makes "Casper" attainable for a whole new generation.

Eight stars for "Casper: A Spirited Beginning", plus a half-star more for managing to make Pauly Shore tolerable.
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One of my favorite Halloween films!
CmHowell9922 October 2002
I have this video at home and watch it around Halloween time. Anyway Tim and Mayor Johnny Hunt plan to tear down Applegate Mansion. This makes Tim's son Chris upset. And Chris's teacher Ms. Fistagraph leads a rally to save Applegate Mansion. Ms. Lyons Tim's assistant helps him find out that Chris's teacher is the one behind this rally to save Applegate Mansion. Foreman Dave is the guy that Tim hires at first to tear down Applegate Mansion but Dave and his crew quit due to the appearance by three ghosts so he hires Bill Case. Then Casper accidentaly missed Spook School. Chris befriends Casper and the Ghostly Trio ther'e names are: Stretch, Stinky, And Fatso. So Kibosh and his sidekick Snivel go on a quest to find Casper, Stretch, Stinky, And Fatso. Then there's Brock and his friends who are always picking on Chris then of course there's Principal Rabie the laughing stock of Chris's School.
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Way too underrated!
wacko-1416 February 2008
I disagree with all the other idiotic comments. I think this movie is better then the 100% abysmal original 1995 version. I hated the original because the human characters sucked. but this, is great! I bought it after seeing a preview on my green eggs and ham tape. this film is hilarious and has good special effects.

The Good: nice SFX good acting great characters not sexist (unlike the original) has lots of action has a true villain (also unlike the original)

The Bad: NONE!

The Ugly: stretch's voice is mediocre OK music

I'd Recommend this film to lovers of the franchise.

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What a treat
rick armstrong28 February 1999
This is by far one of the best kiddie movies ever to come out of Hollywood. How can you watch this movie and not fall in love with that adorable little ghost. Anytime CASPER is appearing in a new movie, you will see me first in line to make this little ghost a little richer!
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