September 4. 2015
This charming film tells of a little white ghost who roams the halls of the castle from 12 midnight to 1 am every day with his ring of keys which can open any lock. However, he yearns to see the brightness of the daytime. Upon advice of his friend the Owl, Little Ghost needed to switch the time of a certain watch tied to him in order to set the waking time he wanted.
Since he did not know which watch, Ghost proceeded to switch the time of all the watches in the castle. While he was switching a valuable watch, a spirited kid named Karl sees him. Ghost takes the watch with him in panic, and Karl was blamed for the watch's loss. From there, the Ghost and Karl will go through a lot of mishaps and misadventures while trying to rectify the situation
As you can see for the poster, Little Ghost looks a lot like Casper the friendly ghost, and acts a lot like him too. The special effects used looked obviously practical, a foamy sphere for a head and a white sheet as his body. This is clearly for very young children. There is nothing really scary about this ghost. Even his dubbed voice sounds like that of an adorable child -- very cute indeed. He would be singing some songs too for some additional entertainment.
The adult actors all act in a clownish, cartoonish style as is customary for kiddie movies. Notably funny was Uwe Ochsenknecht, the actor who played both the Swedish general in the portrait and the haughty town Mayor. The actors who played the obese Chief of Police and the Clockmaker was also quite silly. Jonas Holdenrieder, who played Karl, and the actors who played his friends, did well. They were neither pushy nor annoying, like some Hollywood child actors are wont to do.
This is a German children's film (original title: "Das Kleine Gespenst") dubbed in English, which was ideal for kids who could not yet read subtitles. Being a European film, you cannot really expect the fast and frenetic Hollywood style of storytelling. The story was told in a slower pace which may make older kids, who are more used to superheroes or monsters, bored. There was only one certain point in the film when the child Karl will be in a very precarious situation, but you know things will all turn out for the best.
"The Little Ghost" will be funny and thrilling for very young kids. Older kids may give it a pass. Adults may find the film's retro vibe and simple visual effects to be hokey. Give it a chance though, and it may surprise and delight you, like it did for me. 6/10.