5.6/10
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2 user

Spooking About Africa (1957)

Casper is in an African jungle. He frightens a zebra at a watering hole. Wheezy the elephant has a terrible sneezing problem; he sneezes all the feathers off a peacock and a group of ... See full summary »

Director:

Seymour Kneitel

Writer:

Jack Mercer (story)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Jack Mercer ... Peacock / Monkeys (voice) (uncredited)
Sid Raymond Sid Raymond ... Wheezy (voice) (uncredited)
Cecil Roy Cecil Roy ... Casper (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Casper is in an African jungle. He frightens a zebra at a watering hole. Wheezy the elephant has a terrible sneezing problem; he sneezes all the feathers off a peacock and a group of monkeys out of their perches. Casper decides to help, and in the process dislodges the feather that was making the elephant sneeze. But then a fire breaks out, and the elephant is unable to sneeze on command. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 January 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Casper Afrikassa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Famous Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Cartoon Festival: Volume 8 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Casper goes to Africa
9 December 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee 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 than 'Spooking About Africa', especially the cartoons from 'There's Good Boos Tonight', 'Once Upon a Rhyme' 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 (more so than most of the later Casper cartoons), but Famous Studios had declined from around this period and the difference in quality from the very early Casper cartoons is staggering.

Best thing about 'Spooking About Africa' 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, while Wheezy the elephant is absolutely adorable without being cloying and the friendship between him and Casper is likewise cute. There are more funny moments than most later Casper cartoons, especially the reactions to Casper (particularly the zebra's) and the consequences of poor Wheezy's sneezing (those monkeys), while the climax does have a sense of danger. The voice acting is good.

However, 'Spooking About Africa' is very repetitive, tired and dull plot-wise, very samey structurally and the dialogue once again falls on the wrong side of twee and forgettable. 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. Colours are sometimes vibrant (like in the very opening frame until a little after Casper is made visible), others flat (once Wheezy is introduced), the backgrounds and drawings have lost their meticulousness and instead look hastily drawn and scrappy.

Concluding this review, one of the better later Casper cartoons but not great. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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