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Is Casper Really Part Of Ghostbusters Canon?

Way back in 1995, Universal Pictures brought Casper the Friendly Ghost to the movies for his own live-action adventure. Appropriately titled "Casper," the film saw Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter, Kat (Wednesday Addams herself, Christina Ricci), move to Whipstaff Manor in hopes of helping Casper (Malachi Pearson) and his mischievous uncles move on to the afterlife. Although, the Harveys weren't the first ones contacted by Catherine "Carrigan" Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty) to commune with those occupying her mansion from beyond the grave. Her other notable pick? Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) of "Ghostbusters" fame.

Yes, in a brief scene at the start of the film, Ray stops by without his three fellow Ghostbusters and attempts to evict Casper and the Ghostly Trio before jetting off in a tizzy. Though we never see his methods, we do see him scramble down the front steps of Whipstaff Manor and admit defeat to Crittenden while wearing his iconic Ghostbusters jumpsuit and proton pack. All in all, this scene looks like just a fun cameo to toss in following the success of "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II" a mere few years before. However, could there actually be more to Stantz's presence than his brief cameo let on?

It's time to address the million-dollar question: does Dan Aykroyd's appearance as Ray Stantz in "Casper" technically make the movie a part of the "Ghostbusters" canon? Here's what we know.

There's no reason why Casper can't be connected to the Ghostbusters franchise

As far as official confirmation from anyone involved with "Casper" or "Ghostbusters" goes, nothing has come to light. Therefore, the two properties sharing a canon isn't entirely set in stone. This lack of clarity has led many fans to try and reason out whether or not the two should be connected. In a Reddit thread by ChamarMoore, fans from both sides of the aisle came to state their cases. Some were cool with Casper McFadden and Ray Stantz crossing paths, while others found the scene lore-breaking. Thus, it's pretty much up to individual interpretation.

In an age where cinematic universes are all the rage, it should come as no surprise that this debate has found new life in the 21st century. It's worth mentioning that it could've taken on an added dimension, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. Among the many pop culture references in "Casper," writer Deanna Oliver revealed that the late Zelda Rubinstein almost appeared as her character from "Poltergeist," Tangina Barrons. "We pictured her shooting out the chimney, screaming 'Go toward the light,'" recalled Oliver, noting that Barrons would've turned up after Stantz.

At the end of the day, there's nothing wrong with considering "Casper" and "Ghostbusters" as taking place in the same universe. At the same time, if you'd prefer not to think of it that way, there's nothing wrong with that. The connections are just loose enough that it doesn't make a difference one way or the other. Nevertheless, expect this discussion to live on until someone of authority chimes in on the subject.