“Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy BOO year.”

Casper and his uncles have been banished to Kriss, Massachusetts, the most Christmasy town in the world. There, Casper must meets his scare quota (one per year) or be banished to The Dark forever.

Convinced Casper can’t scare any “fleshie” or even a kitten, the trio calls in some ghostly help from New York City. The race against time is on in the 2000 animated film, “Casper’s Haunted Christmas”.

‘Twas “Casper’s Haunted Christmas”

At a drive-in, Officer Snivel of the ghost police come looking for Casper and the Ghostly Trio of Stretch, Fatso, and Stinkie. Fatso blows Snivel’s whistle and accidentally summons Kibosh, the big, green, and scary supreme ruler of all ghosts.

Kibosh gives Casper until Christmas day to live up to his ghostly obligations or he and his uncles (whose “scaring licenses” are revoked for some reason) will be banished to The Dark.

Our story then moves to Kriss, Mass., and meet the Jollimore family who all have super Christmasy names – dad Noel, mom Carol, and their daughter Holly. However, unlike her parents, Holly doesn’t seem to believe that you can never have too much Christmas.

When Casper meets Holly, she thinks he’s a talking snowman; later the trio go to a play audition but are rejected by Carol for not being believable enough as ghosts – and she conveniently invites them to stay at the Jollimore’s house.

With only a few shopping days before Christmas, and Casper failing in his attempts to scare people, the trio calls up their cousin Spooky on their smellular phone, with plans to make him over to look exactly like Casper and fool Snivel into believing Casper successfully scared someone.

However, Spooky as Casper (“the Frenzied Ghost”) is equally unsuccessful and ends up getting used as a towel by Noel in a scene that parodies Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”. A “Scream” parody follows, with the imposter Casper placing a very scary call to Carol that ends in disaster as he gets caught in a mixer.

Spooky also fails as Casper to scare Holly by making scary faces, and he acts like a jerk. This drives a wedge between Holly and the real Casper, who doesn’t understand why she rips up the special Christmas card she was making for him. Casper tries to win back Holly, inspired by the “Say Anything…” boombox scene, and reveals he is actually a ghost (“a member of the living impaired”).

Meanwhile, the ghostly trio trap Snivel in a giant outdoor animatronic Santa and come up with an idea that will ruin Christmas. They plan to steal all the presents, blame the Jollimores, and then blow up all the presents with a time BOO-mb (it’s like a bomb, but scarier).

This leads to the final confrontation and happy ending, as Casper is able to scare the trio by impersonating Kibosh. Later, he summons the real Kibosh, and explains how he fulfilled his quota and the trio also just barely manages to earn their licenses back after convincing Kibosh that their Grinchy scheme was really an elaborate present for him, because they know how much he loves torture.

Our Review of “Casper’s Haunted Christmas”

? The Nice List ?

Overall the movie had a few laughs, and cute dialogue, but not enough to demand repeat viewings.

That said, the film featured a few good lessons for younger viewers, such as the importance of honestly.

Casper feels guilty about lying about being a ghost from the beginning of their friendship. But ultimately Casper redeems himself Holly’s eyes with his actions and honesty.

“Casper’s Haunted Christmas” also enforces the importance of family. In a scene where Holly is distraught, her mother assures her mother that she comes first, always. Yes, even before all things Christmas.

Side note: Holly reminded us of Winona Ryder’s character (Lydia) in “Beetlejuice”. (And that’s not a knock, by the way!)

The relationship of Spooky and his ghostfriend Poil reveals another important lesson: be yourself. Frustrated throughout the film of how the trio changes Spooky into Casper, she’s happy to get her old Spooky back by the end.

By the end of the movie, all was right. Nobody gets banished. And Casper and Holly repaired their relationship (with a nice line from Holly: “You’ve given me the best present of all: a friend”).

? That Christmas Feeling ?

Once “Casper’s Haunted Christmas” arrives in Kriss, everything is over-the-top Chrimstasy.

There’s a tree in every room.

The family eats a full roast turkey dinner – for breakfast.

There’s even a Christmas wreath toilet seat cover!

As for the music, ’twas all right – Randy Travis fans will be especially jolly.

The Trio Who Stole Christmas

Our favorite scene was easily the parody/tribute to the classic TV special, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”

The addition of a Grinch-style narrator was a good call. He narrates the evil deeds of the evil spooks, who undeck every hall, stealing presents and even a roast beast.

And there’s a funny line from Fatso, who complains “the chimney is three sizes too small.”

? You’ll Laugh… ?

If you’re a fan of puns, dad jokes, or really enjoy the Cryptkeeper’s sense of humor.

Some scream out loud moments include:

  • ‘That’s not gas, I’m getting an email on my laptop.”
  • A “smellular” phone.
  • “Who wants egg nog? Get it while it’s noggy!”
  • “Blech … I can’t take all this joy. It’s sickening.”

And did we seriously hear a Pauly Shore reference? ?

Tip: make sure to watch the fake goofs during the credits, as the ghosts mess up while “recording” their parts.

? The Naughty List ?

Only two real complaints here:

  • Slow start: “Casper’s Haunted Christmas” started slow, but got better as it went along.
  • Ghost rules: These were a bit weird. Casper was in trouble for not scaring enough, and the trio was not allowed to scare, why? Because they scared too much?

One other minor quibble: The Ghostly Trio gets their comeuppance. However, the payoff – a montage of painful and embarrassing gags – highlighted the uneven writing, as it failed to amuse.

? The WORST List ?

The Ghosts of Animation Past

That animation. Wow. Low quality.

It looked like animation you’d see in an old video game. And not a good one.

Casper's Haunted Christmas
4.5/10

Meh

This is a cute, but non-essential Christmas movie. Warning: a few scenes could be spooky for younger kids, parental discretion advised.

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