Casper’s Halloween Special (1979)

Also known as “Casper Saves Halloween” and “Casper the Friendly Ghost: He Ain’t Scary, He’s Our Brother,” the titular ghost’s Halloween special is about as rough around the edges as you’d expect from a production from the company from 1979. Around that time Hanna Barbera had absolutely no limits about whom they gave a show to, and Casper took time out of his series “Casper and the Angels” to help save Halloween. As opposed to his short lived series where Casper teamed up with two futuristic space cops. No, really.

Having to put up with his friends Hairy Scarey, Winifred Witch, and Screech Ghost, Casper plans to go trick or treating since it’s the one night of the year he can be himself. But his trio of friends plans to spend the night scaring people. When a local orphanage allows its orphans to go out for the night trick or treating, Casper plans to go with them. But that’s hard when the trio of ghosts keep scaring people away from the kids. The group of kids is about the same diverse stock characters you’d find in a 1979 Hanna Barbera toon, the fun of the half hour special is how much it celebrates the holiday.

There are two fun musical numbers celebrating the spirit of the holiday, and Casper is a great element to the fun. Despite the overly cutesy voice work (especially from Julie McWhirter as Casper), “Casper’s Halloween Special” is a fun half hour special with some classic Halloween visuals, and an adorable cast that helps Casper, as well as accept him as a ghost when he reveals himself to them. The nemeses for Casper are also pretty fun, acting as memorable joy killers for the friendly ghost. I think I prefer Hairy Scarey and Screech over his more contemporary ghost uncles, to be quite honest. And it’s hard to beat Frank Welker.