In part one, I offer my picks from series where the ghost is a key figure in the cast.
Coming to Disney Plus
Taking a slight cue from Ghostbusters, this French animated film by Zag Animation (best known for Miraculous) turns four teens into superheroes out to fight the spirits inhabiting random objects throughout their city. These spirits try to scare as many people as possible since it empowers them, and as for how well they’re doing, it’s tough.
Five episodes isn’t enough to say this team is excellent at the job. They have high school lives too, and when they get the call, it’s tough to decide to stay in class or ask for a hall pass. The direction is trying too hard to be like Zag’s other franchises (and Spider-Man) and it really needs to be original to stand out in the crowd.
The Real Ghost Busters (1986)
Throughout the many iterations this late 80s cartoon series has been through, there’s no denying the Fab Four are it! Every week, they have to deal with some paranormal threat. Some are simple class 5 vapours and others are much worse, like Samhein or the Boogeyman. Only two episodes referred to the films, and the rest are non-canonical. The later series suggests Egon has taken on new recruits to keep the business up. Is it a hint of what’s to come for Ghostbusters: Afterlife? Perhaps not, but we can only imagine what may have happened since the second movie.
The Animated Series
The Ghost with the Most is simply a huge sitcom to see Beetlejuice try to act nice. It’s also about Lydia Deetz getting to know the Netherworld in all its zany glory as the two go into oddball adventures. In what makes this series great is that it examines the relationship between this tween and a ghost.
Casper the Friendly Ghost
This franchise is perhaps the oldest and its odd Harvey Comics isn’t doing much with the property these days. From a comic strip to theatrical cartoons to a television series to film, this spirit is often cited as the most nostalgic as a few generations grew up watching the classic series. To be updated, however, means changing Casper’s image somewhat. Instead of traditional animation, he went on to be full CGI and that’s been the last of it … for now.
Although nothing’s been done lately with this character (commercials not included), the hope is that something will arise.
City of Ghosts
This series is more about probing into what makes a spirit who he or she is, or should that be was?
Here, the members of The Ghost Club just want to help. They aren’t always seeking proof of the paranormal. Just whom they meet talk about Los Angeles’ past and the stories they tell aren’t altogether frightening. This series is unique such that we’re not dealing with spooks in the traditional sense, but rather metaphorical.
and Molly McGee
Anyone who followed Bill Motz and Bob Roth’s career already knows they’re working for Disney these days. After having earned their wings at DreamWorks Animation with Penguins of Madagascar and Monsters vs. Aliens, they created The Freemaker Adventures. Their latest is a twist on the Lilo & Stitch formula. Instead of a girl and an alien, it’s a young girl and a ghost. The former is optimistic about life, and the latter is a ne’er-do-well. Just how they get along is a mystery!