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Casper Genie (1954)

Approved | | Animation, Short, Crime | 28 May 1954 (USA)
Casper, the Friendly Ghost, who has a hard time making a friend, is in search of a friend and comes upon a young boy reading about Aladdin and his magic lamp. Casper decides he can make a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
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Friendship Club Leader / Policeman (voice) (uncredited)
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Billy (voice) (uncredited)
Sid Raymond ...
Burglar (voice) (uncredited)
Alan Shay ...
Casper (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Casper, the Friendly Ghost, who has a hard time making a friend, is in search of a friend and comes upon a young boy reading about Aladdin and his magic lamp. Casper decides he can make a pal by masquerading as the genie of the lamp. But a burglar, seeing Casper performing for the boy, steals the lamp. Casper foils the burglar, who ends up in the hands of the police, while Casper, the genie and boy all take a nap together. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Plot Keywords:

genie | friend | burglar | magic | ghost | See All (26) »

Genres:

Animation | Short | Crime

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Approved
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28 May 1954 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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(Technicolor)
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User Reviews

 
A lesser Casper cartoon
19 November 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The late-40s to the early/mid-50s Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoons had a higher budget and overall the overall quality was much better. Onwards, the quality did diminish quite significantly though the overall cartoons varied, some decent, many mediocre.

Famous Studios' cartoons are not for all tastes, but my opinion is that their early stuff and some of the early 50s output are good. While they were very formulaic they were always well animated and voiced with some funny parts, some poignancy and decent characters and their regular composer Winston Sharples could always be relied on to write a great and often outstanding score.

Admittedly though, by the mid-50s through to the late-60s Famous Studios' cartoons did get repetitive. While Sharples' music still shone and the voice actors did their best the animation suffered due to lower budgets and tighter deadlines, the humour became more tired and slow in timing than sharp and funny, the stories became increasingly predictable and rehashed and some characters started losing their initial spark, this is particularly true of most of the later Herman and Katnip cartoons.

'Casper Genie' is a lesser effort of the Casper cartoons, though there are worse Famous Studios cartoons. If you compare 'Casper Genie' to the very early Casper cartoons and the surprisingly excellent 'Boo Moon', the difference in quality is staggering.

Winston Sharples' music score here is typically merry and whimsical, it's beautifully orchestrated, energetic and adds so much to the mood, his music has always been one of the best assets of the Famous Studios cartoons and it's not an exception here. In fact how it's composed and how it meshes so well with everything going on in the animation, story and action contributes to it being the best, and only outstanding, thing about the cartoon.

Some of the colours are vibrant and lively, with the odd atmospheric colour too. The voice acting mostly is not bad at all, Mae Questel is a bit cloying as Billy, but Alan Shay shows more steel than usual as Casper and while with little to do Jack Mercer and especially Sid Raymond (as a menacing villain and the most memorable character in the cartoon). Casper is not as self-pitying as he could be and shows a braver and more resourceful side compared to before.

On the other hand, the animation could have been much better. It was with 'Casper Genie', as far as Casper cartoons go, where a clear lower budget began to show. Some of the colours are nice, but the backgrounds and drawings have lost their meticulousness and instead look hastily drawn and scrappy, especially some of the buildings and minor characters in the first half.

Pacing is a bit draggy too, picking ever so slightly in the climax but lacking a little in urgency and intensity and hurt by that the cartoon is very predictable. It is not as repetitive as most Casper cartoons, it starts off very repetitive but a little less so in the second half. There are not many funny moments to be found here, any to be found are only mildly amusing and easy to miss, and it does fall on the wrong side of twee. The dialogue is forgettable at best. While Casper and Billy's chemistry is sweet and Billy cute, it is very typical and the outcome is obvious early on.

On the whole, a lesser Casper cartoon with a drastic decline in quality. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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