This first proposal is by George Germanetti, long time Fleisher and Famous Studios animator.
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|Christmas Card from Harvey's. Date unknown. Collection: Virginia Mahoney|
St. John’s publishing began producing Casper comics in 1949- and in 1952 the license for Casper comics was assumed by Harvey Comics. Harvey purchased Casper (as well as other Famous characters) outright in 1959 and all these characters soon appeared on the TV show Matty’s Funday Funnies. Some of the Casper films had previously been purchased in 1956 by TV distributor U.M.&M.T.V. Corp. When these films were packaged for television the original credits were often removed and replaced with new credits that included a reference to U.M.&M.T.V. Included below is a link to one such film A Hunting We Will Go, since it’s interesting that in the screen credit where it should have read Featuring Casper the Friendly Ghost, the ‘replaced’ credits instead read Featuring Caspers Friendly Ghost.
Interesting controversies among Casper fans have to do with whether Casper is actually a dead child! And if so…how did Casper die?? At some point the ‘dead child’ concept was replaced by the concept of Casper belonging to a particular class of supernatural beings…ghosts! However when Casper appeared in Harvey Comics in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s it appeared that Casper was a ghost because his parents were already ghosts when they married. It wasn’t until the 1995 Casper feature film that the ‘dead child’ idea was revived along with an account of how Casper had died…. of pneumonia at the age of twelve due to overindulging in a day of sledding! The film even disclosed Casper’s full name… Casper McFadden.
I’m including a few typed and hand-written Casper ‘story ideas.’ These are only a few of the over seventy five Casper story ideas I found among my dads things. Story ideas could be submitted by people who worked in the story department… or by anyone else in the Studio. If a story was used one could earn a few extra dollars. I love that often the stories submitted were totally hand-written— even the typed ones were pretty messy looking when measured against today’s standards. It didn’t seem to matter---
The first 'story idea' below was written by one of Casper's creators, Seymour Reit. It's two pages long and was submitted together with three other stories. The note at the top indicates that all four were purchased for $100. and adds "additional sum if any used (to make up to $300)." Not dated. Collection: Virginia Mahoney
The story idea (and drawing) below were submitted by Dave Tendlar. Dave began working at Fleischer Studios in 1931, and worked there and at its successor, Famous Studios, until the mid 1950's. He worked as both an animator and Director. After Famous Studios he continued to work in animation for a number of other studios including Terrytoons and Hanna-Barbera. Note that both pages are on pegged animation paper, and that Casper is still looking chunky (later he became more sleek). Dated Sept. 12, 1949. Collection: Virginia Mahoney