Parents' Guide to

Casper's Haunted Christmas

By Paul Trandahl, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

A sweet and somewhat sophisticated holiday tale.

Movie NR 2000 84 minutes
Casper's Haunted Christmas Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 6+

age 8+

90 minutes we'll never get back.

My son, almost 8, liked this movie. I thought it was awful for the following reasons: -the story and writing is contrived. It's almost unbearably bad. I fell asleep three times (granted I have the flu; were I in my right mind I would've read the reviews and said no to this choice) -the language is terrible - everybody is a "jerk" and so on - the characters are, by and large, unkind with no redeeming qualities or complexity (save Casper, who's one-dimensional and frankly, kind of annoying in his absolute lack of personality) I'd watch Merry Christmas Mr. Bean on Youtube instead (hilarious!)

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Part of the appeal that Casper stories hold for young viewers is their reassuring predictability. The childlike Casper means well, but is always misunderstood and pre-judged due to his ghostly appearance. His eventual triumph over narrow-minded individuals makes the friendly ghost an ideal role model for any child just learning to believe in him or herself. CASPER'S HAUNTED CHRISTMAS more or less follows this pattern, but updates it with digital animation and a self-mocking sense of humor. The computer animation used here, while not up to the big-budget standards of Toy Story, is nevertheless impressive. In fact, Casper and his ghostly pals seem livelier in these more three-dimensional incarnations than they did in their original hand-drawn versions. The human characters are also well rendered, avoiding the talking mannequin pitfall that so often plagues computer-generated humans.

Apart from the requisite one-liners and visual gags, there's quite a bit of humor directed at Christmas specials themselves. A sequence in which Casper's uncles rob the town's residents of all their Christmas gifts spoofs How The Grinch Stole Christmas. There are also references to movies such as Scream and Say Anything, which will most likely be lost on younger viewers. The only downside to this Christmas tale is that it's not especially involving. Casper is ostensibly in a race against time, yet he seems curiously unconcerned that he may be banished forever to ghost purgatory. At 84 minutes, a greater sense of urgency would help keep the story focused and prevent kids' minds from wandering.

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