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Spook and Span (1958)

When the citizens decide to each enter an animal in the County Fair contest, Casper picks a pig as his choice, though the pig is not real happy leaving his mud puddle. Casper finally cleans... See full summary »

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Uncredited cast:
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Squealy / Sheep / Livestock Judge (voice) (uncredited)
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Little Girl (voice) (uncredited)
Cecil Roy ...
Casper (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

When the citizens decide to each enter an animal in the County Fair contest, Casper picks a pig as his choice, though the pig is not real happy leaving his mud puddle. Casper finally cleans the pig up by force and enters him, and the pig wins...and heads back to his mud puddle. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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pig | mud puddle | puddle | mud | casper | See All (23) »


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Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

28 February 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Casper og svinet  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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(Technicolor)
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User Reviews

 
A lot of repetitive set-up, very little plot
8 January 2017 | by 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.

There are far better Casper The Friendly Ghost cartoons out there. There are some good things in 'Spook and Span', but for a Casper cartoon it's pretty lacklustre and one of the weaker cartoons. Also a good example of a lot of the things that were present in a lot of cartoons made during Famous Studio's decline, the difference between that period and the earlier Casper cartoons from the late 40s and early 50s in quality is pretty staggering.

Best thing about 'Spook and Span' 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 good, Casper does sound different but it is not that distracting. The voice work is dependable.

'Spook and Span's' chief problem is the story, or lack of it. Most of it is just repetitive set-up with little emotional engagement, very little that's amusing let alone funny and unimaginative reactions to Casper that are just too low in budget and tired to tickle the funny-bone.

Only in the last two minutes or so is there a resemblance of an actual story, but the conflict is just far too rushed (like everything about the last two minutes) and chemistry between Casper and the pig is next to zero. Dialogue is unmemorable and cloying.

Can't say much better about the animation either. Much of it lacks vibrancy, the backgrounds have lost their meticulousness and the characters look hastily drawn and the overall drawing scrappy, as a result of lower budgets and tighter deadlines.

In summary, pretty weak with a lot of the problem being that it's too repetitive and very thinly plotted. 4/10 Bethany Cox


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