Oh, yeah - I hated it more: Casper's Haunted Christmas (2000)

Lindsay got her review in first.  Normally, we don't gang up on a movie if we both hate it, but this gets to be a special case.

It's Christmas, so I'm going to start this review off on a positive note by finding some nice things to say about the computer animated, direct-to-video film, Casper's Haunted Christmas.  Give me a minute.  I can do this.

Got it!  The ghosts were animated with passable CG, unlike the people (more on that in a moment).  Also, the design of the fictitious town this took place in was kind of fun.

This concludes the positive section of this review.

Going in, I assumed this was going to be bad.  I mean, I bought it as part of a five dollar bargain set from Best Buy - the now infamous "New Christmas Classics" - and it wasn't even featured.  I mean, this is (unfortunately) a full length movie, and the people including it in their set didn't feel like it warranted more attention than a bunch of seven minute Gumby shorts.

Had I glanced at Rotten Tomatoes, I'd have seen another portent.  This was released a decade ago, and to date it has a single review.  I doubt anyone's going to be shocked by the revelation that the review wasn't a glowing endorsement.

The movie was disgustingly inoffensive and painfully dull.  Ostensibly, it was a comedy, but I didn't laugh at a single line.  In its entire hour and a half, the single best joke was the setting: Kriss, Massachusetts.

Are you amused?  Didn't think so.

The plot required some of the most bizarre contrivances imaginable, including the human characters remaining oblivious to the nature of the ghosts, somehow dismissing them as actors or, in the case of Casper, a living snowman.  The only way I can wrap my head around this is by assuming the script was intended as a traditionally animated movie, and no one bothered to adjust it when the switched to CG and translucent ghosts.  Depictions of Casper from the old comics look a great deal like a snowman; this one doesn't, rendering the entire plot even more meaningless than it already was.

I mentioned earlier that the ghosts didn't look too awful (I suspect that some of the models from the 1995 live action movie were recycled).  Now let me tell you about the designs around the human characters....

Comparing them to video game characters is grossly misleading, since video games have evolved light years beyond this.  At best, these were at the level you'd expect from the Playstation 1.  And not from the good games, either.

Stiff, wooden, and soulless, the humans were significantly more frightening than their counterparts.  The only thing creepier were a group of actors auditioning as "ghosts."  Their eyes were literally bulging out of the sheets.

It's also notable that humans were few and far between.  There were scenes were a crowd would have made sense, but instead there were only one or two people around.  I can only assume they were experiencing technical issues with their equipment, and just worked around them instead of trying to fix the problems.

This thing was a car wreck of boring proportions.  It was a family-friendly film that would make most toddlers want to blow their brains out.

For the love of all that's holy, listen to what I'm about to say: no matter what you do, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE.

If you'd like to watch this movie, it's available on the "New Christmas Classics" set.  If they haven't been picked clean for the holidays, you can find that in Best Buy for cheap.

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