Casper's Scare School
Casper's Scare School (also known as Casper's Scare School: The Movie) is a 2006 American/Australian/French/Indian computer animated television film based on the Harvey Comics cartoon character Casper the Friendly Ghost. The film premiered on Cartoon Network on October 20, 2006. It was produced by Moonscoop and Kapow Pictures and released by Classic Media. A TV series of the same name was produced in 2009, as well as a 2008 video game of the same name.
As a result of Casper being too friendly with a boy named Jimmy Bradley and failing to scare enough humans Kibosh: The King of the Underworld has Casper enrolled into a Scare School, to prevent him from being banished into the Valley of the Shadows, headed by the two-headed headmaster Alder and Dash. At Scare School he befriends Ra, a mummy with unraveling issues and Mantha, a zombie girl who keeps falling apart.
There they learn to keep the Balance between scaring "fleshies" too often or too little both of which, the staff believe, would cause them to rise up and dominate the creatures of the Underworld. His first three lessons result in Casper being given detention from the teachers. The school bully, a vampire, named Thatch and his cronies spy on Casper in an attempt to sabotage him.
Casper feels unable to cope with having to be scary so he decides to go to the Valley of the Shadows by himself believing the Balance would have to go without him. Upon his arrival Casper finds the Valley to be a colorful garden and he meets his great-aunt Spitzy, who the Ghostly Trio claimed were not allowed to talk about, and the other creatures who were banished there for refusing to scare humans.
Meanwhile, Alder and Dash plot to use a petrification potion to turn Kibosh into stone and take over the Underworld and Deedstown. They test the potion on the Ghostly Trio, who arrive to meet the headmaster(s) after Casper's disappearance, before inviting Kibosh. When Casper's friends discover this they go to the Valley of the Shadows to warn him. Upon their arrival they discover that they can leave the Valley although the residents believe they cannot and had never even tried to. Casper then goes to Deedstown with his friends to stop Alder and Dash in their plot.
The headmasters are convinced to stop by their "ancle" (aunt and uncle in one) Belle and Murray, from the Valley of the Shadows, and when everyone is returned to their original forms Kibosh allows the creatures to have a day in which they can be friends with "fleshies". Kibosh confides in Casper that he once had two human friends and shows him a photograph.
- The CGI animation is terrible and super dated by 2006 standards, that looks like a PlayStation Portal, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or a Wii video game, examples of this are the lighting, background design and characters movements, as well as poor rendering quality.
- The art style is very weird, as the vast majority of character designs easily fit into Uncanny Valley, especially the humans who look WORSE than the Scare School monsters.
- The plot is very mediocre and cliche, with the villain carrying out his evil plan to dominate the world and the hero having to stop him. In addition, the movie trailer itself reveals almost the entire story.
- Speaking of the villains, Alder and Dash are pretty forgettable, same for Thatch.
- The Ghostly Trio were completely flanderized in this film, having totally different behaviors from their original counterparts, although this could be considered a good quality for those who found them annoying.
- Apart from Casper and his uncles, the other characters are all very un-memorable.
- Sometimes the characters' lines are very ridiculous and unnecessary.
- The CGI animation, even being dated, has some decent details, like the "creepy" environment present in the scenes, and the movement of the characters is good sometimes.
- Scare School's design is very good, at least compared to the other backgrounds in the movie.
- At least most of the characters are likeable, like Casper, Jimmy, Mantha and Ra.
- The Ghostly Trio's change in behavior can be considered a good quality, as they are much more likeable in this film, and even respect Casper, unlike their original counterparts.
- This movie started a TV series of the same name, which ended up getting much better, despite still having its flaws.
- The soundtrack is surprisingly amazing for a low budget movie, highlighting the Scare School song played over the credits.