3 December 2012 11:26 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Laika's "ParaNorman" not only outpaced its two stop-motion rivals, "Frankenweenie" and "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," at the box office with a respectable $55.8 million, but it also pushed the boundaries of a family movie with its theme of intolerance. This, along with a naturalistic style unique to stop-motion, just might earn the zombie-comedy an Oscar nomination for best animated feature. "I always knew in writing 'ParaNorman' that it might cause a little bit of a fuss because of the areas that it delved into, but that was intentional," Chris Butler proclaims. "We wanted to be bold in our storytelling. And I'm glad that people have seen that and have responded to it." However, Butler's more experienced directing partner, Sam Fell, was keenly aware of the thematic risks. After a disappointing stint at DreamWorks on "Flushed Away," he was delighted to be in an environment that encouraged »

- Bill Desowitz

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