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Western Animation: There's Good Boos Tonight

"Now...isn't this a perfect setting for a spine tingling ghost story? Well, strangely enough, this is a ghost story. Do you scare easy? Do shadows on the wall frighten you? Well, relax — this isn't that kind of a story. And just to prove it, let me introduce a ghost that is out of this world. His name is — Casper."

The second and easily the most well known short in the Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon series, There's Good Boos Tonight, a 1948 Famous Studios short is a popular, nostalgic classic among many classic cartoon viewers — and quite a Tear Jerker at that.

The plot of the short is centered on Casper, who lives — er, resides at a graveyard, uninterested in joining the activities of his brethren as they fly off to scare people. Seeing no future in that life — er, activity, he leaves the graveyard to make friends with the local animals. He's not too successful in doing so until he finally does find a friend in the form of Ferdie, a fox who isn't scared of him like the others. Casper promptly bonds with it, but all is not well, as a fox hunter makes his rounds...

The short is in the Public Domain and can be viewed here. It was also riffed by Doug Walker here.

Tropes:

  • All Animals Are Dogs: Ferdie, despite being a wild fox, acts exactly like a rambunctious puppy, even insisting on playing Fetch with Casper.
  • Bittersweet Ending/Esoteric Happy Ending: It's great that Casper and Ferdie get to be together at the end, it's just very sad about what had to happen first.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Casper briefly turns into one after washing himself (and drying himself in a wringer!) from his encounter with the skunk.
  • Break the Cutie: Casper goes through this big time when he sees Ferdie's dead body.
    "Oh, Ferdie...(breaks down sobbing) He was the only friend I ever had, in my whole life..."
  • Color Failure: When the hunting dogs see Casper.
  • Death by Newbery Medal
  • Dies Wide Open
  • Fox Hunting
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Casper doesn't want to go out and "boo" people — he just wants to be friends. Too bad he tends to scare most creatures away anyway. And then Ferdie comes along.
  • Kill the Cutie
  • Mood Whiplash: Three-quarters of the cartoon is silly, involving things like ghosts turning into a squadron of Spitfires to fly off and scare people, and a bunch of wild takes as animals recognize what Casper is and run off; or it's showing us cute things like the little ghost boy making friends with a cute fox. And then they are attacked by a hunter which Casper (inadvertently) chases off, only to find out that the hunter had managed to shoot Ferdie anyway. So Casper carries Ferdie's corpse off for burial, only to find out that Ferdie had become a ghost so they got to stay together and play anyway. The end.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The narrator basically says this at the beginning.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Casper, when he lifts up Ferdie's dead body.
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Public Domain Animation
  • Pun-Based Title: The name is a pun on "There's Good News Tonight," a popular phrase during World War II. However, it is not a pun on "There's Good Booze Tonight," as one might think. Let's be honest; the title did not deserve to be spoken once, let alone twice.
  • Recycled Script: The shorts premise would be directly recycled or used as the basis for virtually all of the Casper shorts following it—in fact, the next short A Haunting We Will Go, uses the exact same plot, only with a baby duckling instead of a fox. The duck lives in that one, though. The shot merely broke his wing.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Ferdie.
  • Smelly Skunk: At one point in the short, Casper gets sprayed by one when he tries to make friends with it.
  • Stealth Pun: "He was the only friend I ever had, in my whole life..."
  • Title Drop: Done by the ghost trying to get Casper to scare people.
  • Visual Pun: The part where Casper scares off a mother cow, which zips away at high speed and jumps over the moon. Sound familiar?

Casper the Friendly GhostGhost FictionDanny Phantom
Casper the Friendly GhostAnimated FilmsThe Cat Came Back
Casper the Friendly GhostFilms of the 1940sCharlie Chan
Casper the Friendly GhostThe FortiesClassic Disney Shorts

alternative title(s): Theres Good Boos Tonight
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