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Demonic Casper
TheLittleSongbird6 December 2016
The late-40s to the early/mid-50s Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoons had a higher budget and overall the overall quality was much better. Onwards, the quality did diminish quite significantly though the overall cartoons varied, some decent, many mediocre.

Famous Studios' cartoons are not for all tastes, but my opinion is that their early stuff and some of the early 50s output are good. While they were very formulaic they were always well animated and voiced with some funny parts, some poignancy and decent characters and their regular composer Winston Sharples could always be relied on to write a great and often outstanding score.

Admittedly though, by the mid-50s through to the late-60s Famous Studios' cartoons did get repetitive. While Sharples' music still shone and the voice actors did their best the animation suffered due to lower budgets and tighter deadlines, the humour became more tired and slow in timing than sharp and funny, the stories became increasingly predictable and rehashed and some characters started losing their initial spark, this is particularly true of most of the later Herman and Katnip cartoons.

'Fright from Wrong' is quite easily one of the better later Casper cartoons, which were very much hit and miss but mostly average or less. Perhaps the best since 'Boo Moon', and definitely the most imaginative and least repetitive since that cartoon.

Best thing about 'Fright from Wrong' is the music score. Here it is typically merry and whimsical, it's beautifully orchestrated, energetic and adds so much to the mood. The music has always been one of the best assets of the Famous Studios cartoons and it's not an exception here. In fact how it's composed and how it meshes so well with everything going on in the animation, story and action contributes to it being the best thing about the cartoon.

The "mean pills" concept is well and inventively handled, seeing a different side to Casper (whoever knew that a typically cutesy character could be "evil"?) was refreshing and his methods of teaching his uncles a lesson inventive, scary and also quite funny.

Excepting Cecil Roy being a bit too cloying, the voice acting is good. Jack Mercer always did excel at villainous voices and he does here. The animation, while not close to the animation of the earlier Casper cartoons, is a significant step up from a vast majority of the cartoons since 'Boo Moon' ('Casper Genie' saw a big nosedive in visual quality), the drawing does lack finesse and a bit crude in places but the colours are more vibrant and there is more detail and more visual invention in the ways the Ghostly Trio are tricked.

Where 'Fright from Wrong' isn't so good is two things. One is in the dialogue, which is not only forgettable but tries too hard to be sweet and instead falls on the wrong side of sugary. The other being a couple of the gags/lessons veering a little on the too cruel and would have been sadistic if any more so (very easy to see why some childhood friends found it frightening when watching it as a child).

Otherwise, 'Fright from Wrong' is surprisingly good and fun. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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