A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while no one is injured in this movie, there is a lot of falling, running, jumping, and tripping when people are scared by ghosts. While the tone is usually light, there are also several scenes where the ghosts do things that are scary -- like taking possession of people's bodies and sneaking up on them. Casper's uncles haunt Wendy and her family. In the final showdown, there's lots of screaming and peril and Wendy almost dies.
What's the story?
In her first film role, Hilary Duff stars as Wendy the Good Little Witch, who lives at home with her three aunts, Geri (Cathy Moriarty), Fanny (Teri Garr), and Gabby (Shelley Duvall). Like Casper (voiced by Jeremy Foley), Wendy gets no respect from her aunts, who don't appreciate her outgoing personality. When power-hungry warlock Desmond Spellman (George Hamilton) discovers that soon his power will be usurped by Wendy when "witches and spirits unite as friends," he sets out to destroy her. So Wendy and her family hide at a resort in the Catskills where -- surprise! -- Casper's family is also staying. When Wendy and Casper meet the fun really begins. But can they really harness their collective power to protect themselves from scary Desmond?
Is it any good?
A lot of Halloween stories are too scary for younger kids, filled with realistic violence or too much intensity; for them, consider the more friendly CASPER MEETS WENDY. It's a movie that's as innocent as the two main characters and full of more silly moments than scary ones. While the plot seems to borrow from everything from Men in Black to Harry Potter, it's still a crazy campy delight that's generous with the puns and silly sight gags.
George Hamilton plays the evil warlock with comic perfection, and kids who like the sillier moments in the Harry Potter or Sabrina the Teenage Witch will love this. But silliness aside, sensitive kids may still have a tough time when Wendy's in danger near the end.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: October 2, 1998
- On DVD or streaming: September 3, 2002
- Cast: Cathy Moriarty, Hilary Duff, Shelley Duvall, Teri Garr
- Director: Sean McNamara
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild scary scenes, some thematic elements and language.
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