Friday, July 3, 2020

“Casper” Turns 25: How the Movie Changed My Life

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Casper” came out May 26th 1995. So that means that 25 years ago on this day, I was sitting with my family in the theater and going through what I realize now was puberty. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the film I’ve decided to write a short manifesto on how the movie changed my life. Enjoy!

This movie showed me that liking spookier aesthetics was ok. Until then it was all pink and lace girly stuff. After watching Whipstaff Manor unfold onscreen I realized that I could like both. And it was at this point that my drawings started to become a lot darker. Now I wasn’t just drawing Sailor Moon but also a plethora of goth girls in flares and shirts with renaissance sleeves. I wish I still had my artwork but alas, in the span of 25 years it’s been lost.

Yokozii ts4 — Carrigan Crittenden vibes. “The bitch is back.”
Cathy Moriarty as Carrigan in “Casper,” photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Let’s talk about Carrigan. Carrigan was played by Cathy Moriarty and while I hated her character it was also when I realized what good acting was. It was when you could throw yourself into a role and become totally believable. And I hated her character with a passion. Mostly because there were a few of my mom’s friends that she reminded me of. All of which she isn’t friends with anymore, go figure. But again in 25 years a lot happens. Basically the character taught me the best way to deal with her type of people by way of Christina Ricci. Who gracefully told her to shove it more than a few times. But you know, in a nice nonchalant way. Also looking back years later and now that I’m older, what a beautiful woman Moriarty is. I don’t know why but I now have a type for women that would treat me like garbage. I don’t know if it stems from this or not but hey, it might.

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Christina in Casper - Christina Ricci Image (13124493) - Fanpop
photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

It changed my life in a number of ways but there was nothing bigger than the realization that I had a crush on both Ricci and Devon Sawa. Of course I could never tell my parents that because hey, the 90’s were rough for bisexual kids. But it was the clue I needed to come to terms with it at least inside my own head. When Casper says “Can I keep you?” I was internally screaming no and yes at the same time. Because again, Christina Ricci all done up in that beautiful ghostly dress incited some feelings.

Christina Ricci as Kat Harvey (With images) | Christina ricci ...
I had this fold out above my bed and worshipped it. I think it came out of Teen BOP or Tiger Beat.

And let’s face it… Devon Sawa with that floppy androgynous haircut (which I now realize is a huge part of why I crush on people like Tegan and Sara) definitely did something for me. Was it too much for both of them to be my boyfriend/girlfriend?

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Ebay listing for full set of Glow in the Dark Figures that were sold at Pizza Hut in 1995.

Casper” was a huge hit and had many toys come out during the time. I collected everything I could and even tried to make my own casper plush. Which didn’t go well because when you’re 9/10 and can only think in 2D cutting out the fabric and sewing it together came out as more of a Casper-shaped Pillow.

amy in casper - Amy Brenneman Image (6427872) - fanpop
Even at 9 years old this moment got me teary, photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Talking with the dead was another cool concept that it opened me up to. Since Kat and her Dad were searching for his wife I thought that was something I could get into. And while I hadn’t lost anyone dear to me at the time it’s something that I carried with me for years. Up until I would have dreams about my Nana who died when I was in my early 20s.

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Casper” was a huge box office hit as well, so every one of my friends saw it. It was one of the first things that I remember having conversations about is what if Casper could become human again for a day etc. A lot of fangirling about the movie and the like happened often after it was released. And it’s what I would connect with a lot of other kids over.

So there you have it. A deeply personal article on how “Casper” rocked my world. I would love to hear if the movie affected you in any type of way. I’m sure there was some movie in your past that gave you feelings and I would love to hear about it!

Tell me your favorite movie in the comments! Let us know if you had more of a crush on Devon Sawa or Christina Ricci growing up!

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