CASPER: A SPIRITED BEGINNING
There is not much to Casper: A Spirited Beginning. It sets out with the ambition of telling a Casper origin story, of how Casper came to Applegate Manor and met the three obnoxious uncles, Fatso, Stretch and Stinky. There is a decent opening CGI sequence with Casper travelling to the afterlife on a colourfully ghoulish ghost train and falling off. It is also an opening that makes you realize just how much the film is not showing ie. while the film holds itself out to tell a Casper origin story and shows us how he came back from the afterlife as a ghost, it fails to mention in any way how it was that Casper died in the first place. It is as though being a childrens film the mention of death was a taboo subject and what is even more noticeable is that the original theatrical movie did give us a flashback scene that showed us the human Casper before he died, yet this, even though supposedly telling the Casper origin story, avoids the subject entirely.
Most of the rest of the story is similar to the first film and copies the basic plot about Casper befriending a lonely young kid. There is a much higher degree of slapstick a substantial portion of the film consists of scenes with the uncles going crazy through the town and scaring people, Michael McKeans one-dimensional military figure bumbling around the mansion; and the kid shooting a fire extinguisher in the library. The digital effects are good, as they were in all these sequels.
The film is co-produced by 20th Century Fox and as a result there are a number of plugs for Fox productions the kid wears a T-shirt from The X Files (1993-2002) and his room is littered with posters from The X Files and the Alien movies.
Full film available online here:-