16 December 2012 10:01 AM, PST | BuzzFocus.com | See recent BuzzFocus.com news »

There was a time when I was in love with stop motion animation. It was the era of Gumby, Rudolph: the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without A Santa Claus. However, over the past two decades, CG has slowly nudged stop motion out of mainstream family entertainment.

When you think of the top animated movies of 2012, Brave or Wreck-it Ralph probably come to mind. Superb CG and the Disney distribution label made these films household names. Yet, in the trenches of cinema, where only the most audacious viewers dare to go, another feature was the unsung animated gem of the year. Laika’s ParaNorman coupled a delightful voice cast with a layered story that was chock full of spooky twists. This thrilling adventure is filled with wonderful, hand-made character models and smart comedy. Thanks to the team at Laika, the beating heart of stop motion lives on.

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- Bags Hooper

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