Caspar: Special Edition

April 1st, 2004 DVD Reviews, Film, Filmink

The Film

It was the Steven Spielberg-produced update to the 20th century’s favourite comic book and cartoon spook, given incredible new life by CG technology. TV director Brad Silberling was given the reins to a very effects-heavy film (in fact, one that would set a new precedent — where the effects themselves are the star).

Giving Casper a love interest is 15 year old Christina Ricci as Kat, having moved into the house Casper and his obnoxious uncle’s haunt. Her father (Bill Pullman) is a specialist who provides counselling to ghosts so they can move on to the afterlife and something of a crackpot who’s subjected Kat to endless moves of home and school.

Silberling and his effects team made Casper as real as you’ve ever seen him, and despite a tween-targeted script, it’s worth enjoying again even if you’re a technical buff.

The Extras

Most of the talking heads documentary and director commentary are interesting as those concerned talk about their experiences in what was in 1995 still a pretty new way of working with movies — acting to something that would be painted or pixelated in later.

The house set was like a roller coaster in the film, but watching the extras gives you a new appreciation for the scope of it — everything was full sized, and to follow ghosts flying in all directions through it, more dimensions of it had to be built than would on a usual interior (where the ceiling wouldn’t be in frame, for example).

Worth it if you liked the movie or are curious about the craft.


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