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I'm not particularly familiar with the cartoons or anything, just something I was vaguely aware of. But I wanted to see this movie because Christina Ricci is in it, and I've always been a fan of hers. She played Kat Harvey, the daughter of a psychotherapist or whatever, Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman), who, since his wife died, has been trying to practice therapy on ghosts to help them cross over... but so far he's never actually found any ghosts.
Casper, meanwhile, is this young ghost who's depressed because no one wants to be his friend. Then he sees Dr. Harvey (and Kat, whom Casper crushes on) on some tabloid TV show, and... but that's getting ahead. I should say that this woman named Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty, who will later play a different character, one of Wendy's aunts, in Casper Meets Wendy) had inherited this old condemned property, and she and her... lawyer, I guess, but more of a stooge, really... Dibbs (Eric Idle), found out there was supposedly gold somewhere in this old house, and they wanted to find it. But the place is haunted, by Casper's uncles, Stretch, Fatso (Brad Garrett), and Stinkie. Unlike Casper, they enjoy scaring people.
Casper gets Carrigan to see the TV show he was watching so she'd contact Dr. Harvey to get rid of the ghosts (after her earlier efforts to get rid of them, including cameos by Father Guido Sarducci, and Ray of the Ghostbusters, and also a wrecking crew). Anyway, Casper befriends Kat, and Dr. Harvey tries to talk to the other ghosts, and later there's this Halloween party there... plus a plot about an invention of Casper's dead father (who isn't around in ghost form for some reason), a Lazarus machine which was intended to bring Casper back to life. I feel it's pretty predictable that this doesn't happen, and why, so I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying so. I'll let you try to figure out the why on your own, though, if you like.
And there's other stuff I won't give away. So, I dunno what else to say about the movie. Not bad, but then, after waiting 10 years to see it, not as great as I might've hoped, either. But I'd certainly recommend seeing it at least once. Especially if you're a fan of Christina Ricci.... Oh yeah, I should say, after I watched the movie I watched an unfinished, deleted scene (split screen, couldn't really see either one well cuz they were so small) which would've been cool if it'd been in the movie, especially since the end of the scene made one of Kat's comments in the movie make sense, that really doesn't quite, without the scene....