Casper meets a baby kitten which isn't scared of anything, including dogs and ghosts. The kitten pursues a big dog and, just when the dog is about to wreak havoc on the kitten, Casper steps in and saves the kitten.
Pretty lacklustre and among the lesser Casper cartoons
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.
There are far better Casper The Friendly Ghost cartoons out there than 'Line of Screamage', especially the cartoons from 'There's Good Boos Tonight' and 'Boo To You Too' (the cartoons from this to 'Boo Moon' varied but mostly decent), the very unique (and the most original Casper cartoon) 'Boo Moon' is also up there. It does have its good things, but Famous Studios were starting to decline from around this period and the difference in quality from the very early Casper cartoons is staggering.
Best thing about 'Line of Screamage' is the music score. 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 thing about the cartoon.
While he is a character that won't click with everybody, Casper does win me over with his friendly nature and kindness. The voice acting is quite good.
However, 'Line of Screamage' is very repetitive, tired and dull plot-wise (outside of the different setting, the same formula of almost every Casper cartoon, or at least most of the same elements, is here). There is not much at all to the writing which is thin on the ground and what there is of it is frankly unmemorable and also very repetitious and sickly twee. To me, the animation was pretty poor, even for a later Casper cartoon.
The animation quality was great in 'Boo Moon' and in a vast majority of the Casper cartoons preceding that, but the quality declined after 'Boo Moon' and was not the same again. The backgrounds and drawings have lost their meticulousness and instead look hastily drawn, sparse and scrappy and the colours have lost their vibrancy. There is not much that is funny here and it's too sugary and recycled to have much proper charm and emotional impact. The supporting characters are not very memorable or engaging, and the reactions to Casper have been much more imaginative. The ending is somewhat too convenient.
Concluding this review, 'Line of Screamage' is not awful but is a long way from great. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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