Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
We all know ghosts
are supposed to be scary. But, Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo decided to test that
belief in the 1930s when together they created Casper, the friendly ghost.
Originally intended as a 1939 children’s storybook, there was little interest
in the idea until Oriolo sold the rights to Paramount
Studios animation division.
Casper as he appeared in the 1940s.
Released under their Noveltoon banner, the first
Casper short appeared in 1945 titled The
Friendly Ghost. For the short, Casper was altered to be more child-like and given a New York accent. He resided in a haunted house with a
community of adult ghosts who loved nothing more than to scare people. Casper,
however, would rather make friends and struck out on his own to find some. Unfortunately,
everyone he encountered was frightened off by the fact he was a ghost, a
running theme in Casper cartoons. Two more Noveltoons were released until
Casper gained his own series of shorts in 1950, again with a slight redesign to
be thinner. Until 1959, Casper’s shorts followed the same plot of his initially
scaring off people he wanted to befriend and later earning their acceptance
after saving his potential friend somehow. In 1955, Casper gained a theme by Mack David and Jerry Livingston.
In 1959, Harvey founder Alfred Harvey purchased
the character rights outright, along with several other Famous properties. U.M. &M TV
Corp had already purchased the rights to the early Casper shorts, but the post
1950 shorts began airing on the Mattel-sponsored
Matty’s Funday Funnies on ABC on Sundays. In
the 1960s, Harvey contracted Paramount to bring new Casper cartoons to
television, however based on the Harvey version.