ParaNorman scores high points for originality and craftsmanship…

First of all, I love stop-motion animation and I also love it when kid-centric films do not insult children. Treat them with respect–speak clear and they will understand and hear your message. ParaNorman does that successfully. It is an original take on accepting and loving yourself and they even throw in the affects of bullying. Nicely done.

This is the second feature released by Laika Animation (the first being the 2009 Coraline–which is one of my favorites). And again, they stay in the adventure/horror genre. This time though they turn it on its ear.  Things are not quite what they seem in Norman’s universe and they have fun exploring all the clichés (“Not   all witches have to be ugly? Of course, they are…they’re meant to sell key chains.”).

The film was written and co-directed by Chris Butler (first feature) and the experienced animator director Sam Fell. Together they do an excellent job of building the characters around this unique premise. As a zombie/horror fan, I appreciated all the cool nudges to the classics.  It is at once touching, poignant and funny. The skill and patience that it takes to create this medium is incredible.  The result is nothing short of amazing.

The voice talent is perfect and surprising. I could easily make out John Goodman, but Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Anna Kendrick were unrecognizable–so cool.  Kodi Smith-McPhee (Let Me In) as Norman and Tucker Albrizzi as Neil are both wonderful (and kind of look like their 10 inch figures).

Overall, this is a great story, cleverly done. It may a bit too scary or gory for young kids (depending on their exposure) and although it does not reach Nightmare Before Christmas iconic status and it’s not even as perfectly crafted as Coraline, it is still a cool addition to the genre that I am sure will continue to grow in cult status. I foresee Halloween viewing in my future. 😀

About nediunedited

Who is nediunedited? A lover of cinema since the age of seven! All kinds–all genres. Films (TV and Books, too) have shaped my life–they were my escape, my inspiration and even my first role models. I do not rate my films in the traditional sense (no stars, grades, etc.)–instead I give you my opinion and my take on it–I do not give traditional plot summaries either, because I want you to go in clear–ready for your own experience. There is nothing better than discovering a fine film, without any other influence. (Personally, when I want to really see something I practice media shut out–I refuse to watch too many trailers, viral promos, reviews, etc–I have been known to cover my eyes and ears in the theater during trailers–LALALALA!) That’s me–hope you come by and visit! I will definitely make the rounds and find some of you out there, too.

7 thoughts on “ParaNorman scores high points for originality and craftsmanship…

  1. Definitely was an excellent flick, Nedi, I totally agree. You’re right to caution parents, there may be a moment or two here that’s a bit much for young’ins.

    Overall, great animation, solid characters… and as you point out, some really great lessons on life!

    • For sure! I love it when they don’t talk down to kids, even while they have fun and still manage to put some important lessons in there.

      I wish I had that kind of talent–making stop action would be so cool! It’s a true art form.

      • Yeah, but it takes SO long. At the Frankenweenie exhibit at Comic-Con, they had “guides” talking to people about the movie, and the models they were showing off, etc…

        I think they said it took like 50 hours to get 10 seconds on film. That’s why they had to have multiple teams of animators working simultaneously, etc.

        That’s crazy

  2. Nedi, I had a real good time watching this with the whole family. My boy is 4 and he did not seem to mind the spooky parts at all. Then again he likes “scary” movies. The animation was crazy good. Why do you think they did not release this film closer to Halloween? Maybe because that Hotel Transylvania is coming out at that time?

    • I love this art form! It’s pretty amazing…

      And yes–my daughter was sturdy about “scary” stuff 🙂 you think it has to do something with their parents?? hmmm…

      I am not sure about release date issue, but I totally agree it would have been a perfect Halloween film–maybe they will re-release? And I am strangely interested in Hotel Transylvania–looks cute. 😀

  3. Pingback: Finally, I post my Top 25 Films of 2012! « nediunedited

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