Jasper and the Haunted House (1942)
Article 5891 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by George Pal
Featuring the voices of Alvin Childress and Glenn Leedy
What it is: Politically incorrect puppet animation
Jasper is tricked into delivering a gooseberry pie to a haunted house by Professor Scarecrow, who wants the pie for himself. However, there’s a resident haunt in the haunted house who’s willing to claim the pie as his own…
I covered the Jasper series as a single review many years ago, but I decided shortly after that that I wouldn’t review whole series anymore. I’m pretty sure I mentioned at the time that prior to his fame as a producer of sci-fi extravaganzas, George Pal directed a selection of puppet animation shorts, some of which featured a stereotypical black boy named Jasper. This is one of those. It’s an amusing and well-animated short, though not as wild as a fully animated cartoon would be. However, the stereotypes do make the short rather questionable for modern audiences.