Parents' Guide to

Casper's Scare School

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Casper's ghostly goodness saves the day.

Movie NR 2007 75 minutes
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As a role model, Casper (voiced by Devon Werkheiser) excels. He's habitually polite, friendly, and helpful. He seems more self-assured here than in previous tales -- perhaps because he finally has a "fleshie" friend. Before he's sent off to Scare School, Casper makes a promise to attend the friend's soccer games. He has to sneak out of school to keep his promise, proving that loyalty to his friend is paramount. Once he's at school, Casper finds himself at odds with a snitchy vampire student who tries everything to get the friendly ghost in trouble. Despite being harassed, Casper doesn't lower himself to meanness. He stays true to his nice roots and still comes out ahead in the end.

Casper and his universe have received a facelift since his earlier print and small-screen days. The animation is sharp, bright, and altogether modern-looking -- something kids raised on Finding Nemo and Toy Story will enjoy. Several mildly scary moments may upset more sensitive children. In one scene, the leader of the underworld, a grumpy green ghost named Kibosh (Kevin Michael Richardson) gets angry with Casper and grows larger and darker while his eyes glow red and his voice deepens. But scary moments are brief and usually followed by a funny scene, which helps relieve any tension. Some parents may take exception to a couple of the movie's stereotypes. First, Casper's uncle, Fatso (Billy West), gorges himself constantly on sweets and anything else he can get his hands on. Parents may need to explain that not all large people are binge eaters, and that you wouldn't normally call people "fatso." Second, at Casper's school he meets twin skeleton cheerleaders who are dull-witted and overly concerned with their appearance. This stereotype will go over most kids' head, but it's worth bringing up to older children.

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