Making the Grades
Poor Casper. We haven't seen him for thirty years, and still without friends, he now suffers from psychological depression. Casper lives at abondoned Whipstaff Manor along with his three obnoxious uncles. Now the manor has been inherited by the ungrateful daughter of the owner who has no interest in the place until she discovers a map leading to a treasure within the home.
Of course, getting the uncles out of the way is no easy task, so, with some help from Casper, the daughter hires Dr. Harvey (Bill Pullman), a ghost psychiatrist, to deal with the uncles. But what Casper is really after is a shrink that can help him come to terms with his own life. Meanwhile, Dr. Harvey brings his daughter Kat along, and soon Casper falls in love, even though he doesn't stand a ghost of a chance of attracting Kat's interest.
On the surface, this is a typical story, which at times is surprisingly slow considering the money this film cost to make. It has a great deal of real life "cartoon" violence -- a technique used to disguise what are often very violent situations. The love interest between Kat and Casper is similar to many other movies where preadolescents are depicted in scenes with serious attraction for each other. In this case, Kat's mother has died, and there almost seems to be a need for her to have her "own man" as she seeks security outside of her family.
Parents that don't appreciate topics dealing with ghosts and the supernatural may also be concerned. This movie has a very casual attitude towards life. The rich daughter falls off a cliff and dies, but no matter, now she is a ghost with even greater powers.
The bottom line is with the marketing and promotion done on this film, your children may be begging to see it. If they do, try and help them find dangerous situations that are made to look funny. After viewing Casper, you may find that today's version of the friendly little ghost is a wolf in sheets clothing.