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Casper / Wendy / Harveytoons
CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST
Original Medium: Theatrical animation
Released by: Paramount (Famous Studios) First Appeared: 1945 Creators: Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo Casper first appeared in a cartoon entitled ( appropriately enough ) The Friendly Ghost, based on an unpublished story written by Seymour V. Reit ( who, among many other things, worked for Archie Comics and may have co-created Peter Porkchops ) and illustrated by animator Joe Oriolo (a proteg of Felix the Cat creator Otto Messmer, and mostly famous for TV cartoons about Felix). It’s unclear whether the idea for the story came from Reit or Oriolo. The cartoon was directed by Isadore Sparber and released by Paramount’s Famous Studios, as part of its ‘Noveltoons’ series, in 1945. This sentimental tale of a ghost who didn’t want to scare anyone was well enough received to spark a sequel, There’s Good Boos Tonight (1948), also directed by Sparber. Casper appeared in several more films before Paramount sold the rights to Casper to Harvey Publications in 1958. Harvey decided to feature Casper in a comic book starting in 1958.
Casper the Friendly Ghost was first theatrically released in 1945 by Paramount’s Famous Studios division. The concept for the character was that he was a ghost that didn’t want to scare anyone, yet still did so, unintentionally, when just trying to be friendly. His appearances were sporadic until the early 1950’s, when a regular series of shorts were developed around his character. When the 1960’s started, Casper got his first shot at a TV show, featuring many new cartoons mixed with the old, and the exposure proved to be a good one, causing all comic books related to the little guy to suddenly become big sellers. There has been the usual flood of related merchandise over the years, as well.
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