ParaNorman (2012)

Posted: August 19, 2012 in Movie Review
Tags: , , , ,



Directed By: Sam Fell & Chris Butler

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman

Subgenre: Zombies, Family

Synopsis: Norman isn’t like other kids; he can see and speak to the dead.  Now it’s up to him to stop a centuries old curse and prevent the dead from rising.

Thoughts: In a day and age when CGI generally rules the animation playground, it is pretty cool to see an amazing looking stop-motion movie like ParaNorman.  I’ve got to be honest, I couldn’t get into Coraline, the other stop motion movie but out by Laika (the company responsible for ParaNorman), but I was excited to see ParaNorman from the first trailer, as was my oldest son.  It was a no-brainer for me to take the boys to the theatre this weekend to see it.

It doesn’t take long to realize that ParaNorman looks as good as the trailers.  The expressions and care that went into each scene are readily evident.  I’m far from an expert in stop-motion animation, but this is a great looking movie.  There are a handful of pretty scary scenes, but neither of my boys had issues, and they are 6 and 9.  I’ve seen some reviews where this isn’t acceptable for children under 12, but I don’t agree with that sentiment. 

The storyline is entertaining, but it also delivers a very strong anti-bullying message, something that is a hot topic in today’s news.  I loved all the characters, but I thought that Neil (Tucker Albrizzi) stole the show as Norman’s friend.

Sam Fell, the primary Director has a few other kids movies under his belt, namely Despereaux and Flushed Away, neither of which come close to the quality of ParaNorman.  I’ve got to imagine that ParaNorman will afford him the ability to score some more big name projects.

The primary message that ParaNorman delivers is a poignant one and hopefully sparks some conversation with kids about the damage that bullying does, but it also brings some other topics to the table.  I don’t want to spoil a part of the movie, but there is a male character that mentions his boyfriend.  It’s not a huge deal in my eyes, but again, I’ve heard some other parents rant about it.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed ParaNorman but I did think it was too bad that it wasn’t released a little closer to Halloween.  We’ll see if that hinders the Box Office take, but I can attest to the fact that the showing I went to was a packed house.  I suggest checking it out, it’s worth the trip to the cinema.


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