Halloween is almost here… a good reason to visit again with Casper!
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Here’s a Christmas Card sent out by the Harvey brothers featuring Famous Studios characters. During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s the Harvey brothers licensed Famous Studios characters for use in their comic books. In 1959 the Harveys purchased outright the entire line of Famous Studios characters along with related films and some other character rights. The date on this card from the Harveys is likely 1972, since Casper is riding the Apollo 16 lunar capsule that was launched on April 16, 1972. (This card was likely sent to my mother since my dad had died in 1964.)
This next ‘story idea’ is by ‘Tex’ Henson. ‘Tex’ had actually started out working for Disney and later moved to Famous Studios, in New York, where he worked on Casper films. He had a long career in animation with many distinctions having worked on films as diverse as Song of the South, Peter and the Wolf, and the Bullwinkle Show. He’s also credited with naming the characters Chip ‘n’ Dale, as well as teaching animation in Texas.
The ‘story idea’ and drawings below for Minnie the Mermaid are by Larz Bourne, long time member of the Famous Studios story department. After leaving Famous Studios he worked for Hanna Barbera and DePatie-Freleng. During this later part of his career he worked on stories for many different characters, including work on the 1979 made for TV Casper Halloween Special.
The next story is Boo Bop by ‘Mike.’ Does anyone know Mike’s last name?… (Thank you everyone who commented and identified "Mike" as Carl "Mike" Myer... now he can have proper credit for this clever story idea that actually ended up in production!)
You can find the film Boo Bop, online to watch --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbDqon8-804 the story is different from other Casper films… and it’s definitely worth watching. It's clearly based on this story idea. It was produced in 1957 to play in theaters. When Harvey created the TV show Matty’s Funday Funnies, this film appears to have aired on that show along with many other Famous Studios films (Herman and Katnip, Little Audrey, etc.). If you watch this film online you’ll notice the original credits are missing. When the Harveys purchased rights to these characters and films the original credits were replaced with their own opening image. Thanks to Big Cartoon Database I can share with you the missing credits for the Casper film Boo-Bop.
Animated by Tom Golden and Nick Tafuri
Written by Carl Meyer
Music by Winston Sharples (and Franz Schubert)
Casper’s voice by Mae Questel (who was best known as the voice of Betty Boop)
In this case it appears that 'Mike,' who wrote the story idea, is also the one who wrote the final version used in production, and he was properly credited as Carl ("Mike") Meyer.
Big Cartoon Database