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The movie gets a ten form me. Considering I love these kind of films. I know a lot of folks feel this movie might not be geared towards children under 9. I'm far from a prune, but I would not take a five year old but.............. then again, I've watch children and they are much smarter than we give them credit for. so point? Judge for yourself. There were kids in the theater that appear to be about five-ish or seven- ish and they knew when to laugh and really enjoyed themselves. So again if it just you you will love it. If you have kids under nine It would have to be on you to decide. but I hardly think this movie will turn your kid in to a thug, or the devil spawns. It a good movie.
The thing of it is, ParaNorman is pretty scary stuff for a PG movie, so
you've been properly warned. This isn't some over-sanitized Disney
movie. Everything from the lighting to the characters to the tense plot
adds up to something you wouldn't want your six-year-old to drag you
to, unless you don't mind paying for some therapy. But it's a terrific
movie, with a style all its own and a madcap sense of ghoulish delight.
Norman (voice of Kodi Smith-McPhee) is an outcast. Know why? He talks to dead people. And indeed, we see them as well, chatting with our hero along his walk to school. Oh, and his grandmother (voice of Elaine Stritch) talks to him all the time while sitting on the couch in the living room. No one understands poor Norman, who's as resignedly freaked out as Haley Joel Osment in the Sixth Sense, so he has no one to talk to, not his parents (Jeff Garlin and Leslie Mann), not his sister (Anna Kendrick), and not the school bully (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) for sure.
It's only when Norman has an episode during the production of a school play (not coincidentally, about an old legend surrounding the town's dark past) that he gains a friend - another outcast, the portly Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), who teaches Norman that it's best not to let people bother you, to not let them get under your skin. Had the story ended there, we may have had a nice, tidy after-school special. Oh, but it does not! From out of almost nowhere, Norman's black-sheep uncle, Mr. Prenderghast (John Goodman), a heavily bearded, slightly loony chap, informs Norman that he - Norman! - must take the mantle of He Who Holds Off the Witch's Curse. Mr. P. has been doing it for all these years, but he thinks he's about to go. He warns Norman that it's all up to him and he must read from the book and then he dies. That was an intentional run-on sentence, for your pleasure.
Thereby our plot is set in motion! Norman must extricate said book from the dead uncle and then read it by the witch's grave in order to break the curse that no one really believes is real. They don't believe it on account of Mr. Dead Uncle has been reading from the book for his entire life, and someone before him, and so on. But now Dead Uncle is, you know, demised, and just before the witch is to rise from the ashes and wreak havoc! Oh, I should note that the curse goes like this - a little girl was suspected of witchcraft by the town elders and sentenced to death. So you can see why she might want to haunt those elders and the town itself for all eternity.
There are people raised from the dead, and the imagery is quite striking; bones, stringy hair, rent clothing, and the ability to remove an appendage and reattach it. Are these - uh - zombies - out to lay waste to the town? Or are they victims of their own device? It's up to Norman, his brain, and his innate ability to talk to dead people to somehow save the day. Despite being grounded, of course.
ParaNorman works on many levels. Adults will love the stylish, almost Gothic atmosphere; older teens will love the menace of both the zombies and the townspeople, not to mention the witch herself. There are, for an animated film, plenty of scares and dark themes - slightly offset by the themes of loneliness, friendship, heroism, and getting adults to just listen to you. For once! Ahem. Anyway, there's a sort of beauty in ParaNorman, as horror and light comedy are somehow blended to form a rich animated film.
In Blithe Hollow, the outcast boy Norman Babcock lives with his father
Perry, his mother Sandra and his teenage sister Courtney. Norman is
considered a freak by his schoolmates since he speaks to the dead,
including his grandmother that watches horror movies on television with
him. However nobody believes that Norman has this ability besides his
fat friend Neil.
Norman's deranged uncle Mr. Prenderghast meets Norman and tells that he must protect Blithe Hollow from the witch curse. Soon Mr. Prenderghast dies and his ghost explains to Norman that he should get his book and perform a ritual in the witch's grave. Norman finds the book that is a fairytale and then he goes to the seven graves where the men that condemned the witch are buried. However, Norman is interrupted by the school bully Alvin and the dead arise and invade the town. Soon Norman has a dream and finds that the witch is the girl Agatha that was sentenced to death in 1712 due to her medium ability. Now Norman wants to convince Agatha that her revenge is turning her equal to those who killed her.
"Paranorman" is a stop-motion animation with a very funny supernatural story. Norman speaking with his grandma in the beginning and Mitch telling to Courtney that he has a boyfriend in the end are hilarious. The story has also a great message against the prejudice and ignorance. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Paranorman"
The makers of Coraline and the beautifully crafted but story-lacking 9 brought us another animated movie that did not disappoint. Paranorman was in fact a surprising movie. Unlike any other animated movie, this one picks a new sort of approach, that would probably entertain both adults and children.
The film was shot using a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR Camera. To generate the 3D effect, the camera was mounted on a special rig that would take one shot, then slide to a slightly viewpoint to take another shot. However, to generate all the different faces needed for the characters, the film company Laika used 3D printers.
The movie takes place in the creepy town of Blithe Hollow, whose name is a mash up of two other ghost stories, Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit(1945) and Washington Irving's The Legend of The Sleepy Hollow(1949). Paranorman tells the story of 11 years-old Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit- McPhee), who can speak to ghosts. Unfortunately, Norman has no friends because people think he's weird. Even his father (voiced by Jeff Garlin) regrets how his son turned out to be. The movie is a little too horror oriented, but funny and suitable for children nonetheless.
The characters are well drawn, so you can understand each of their personalities: you have the nice fat kid called Neil (voiced by Tucker Albrizzi), the usual blonde teen (voiced by Anna Kendrick), the bully (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and the dumb jock (voiced by Casey Affleck). To be honest, my favorite was Neil.
To end with, Paranorman weaves a fantastically dazzling, consistently engaging and touching story. I really appreciated the level of maturity that has gone into this impressive stop-motion animation. A good movie in about every regard, that is fun and entertaining to watch, for both children and adults.
Agatha the angry ghost is magnificent. This whole movie is. The animation is amazing and the story will warm and break your heart. Good for those who love Burton and Selick, or just have a good imagination and a love for films. Unfortunately, I've heard a lot of parents say it was too scary and/or inappropriate for their children. To each their own. But for me, if your kids can't handle this, they're most likely too sheltered and scare too easily. Anything about this movie that adults deem inappropriate, kids won't even understand until they get older. This movie teaches an important lesson, and one even some adults need to re-learn.
2012 was an amazing year for animation. I absolutely loved Wreck-it-
Ralph, Brave, Hotel Transylvania, Frankenweenie, Rise of the Guardians
and even the not so loved Ice Age 4. ParaNorman is another fantastic
film in the 2012 animation category. I'd rank it my 3rd favorite from
the 2012 animation list.
This film came at a time when zombies are at their most popular in TV and cinema. However this film takes a zombie story and gives it a great twist and depth in its storytelling with meaningful and heartbreaking themes applicable in today's society. It has some pretty resonating messages about understanding, ignorance, bullying, bigotry, friendship and family and love. The anti-bullying messages are great and hopefully will register with our youth. All these messages are interspersed in a very much original story with sweetness and humor.
Though at times the humor does get a bit PG and higher. So parental guidance is advised. It is a very mature story. Mature in that the humor can get a bit non-kid friendly with references to sex and to an adult film store, the F word and some more. So in this regard parental guidance is suggested but for teen and adult viewing, it is a fantastic film with perfect blend of storytelling, great messages, emotions and humor.
The film is very different from what we've seen and yet so familiar, i say that in a very good way. Essentially it has few minor elements of Ghost Whisperer, Scooby Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby Doo and the Witchs's Ghost, The Sixth Sense and more Scooby Doo and merges them into one but in addition it adds a lot and i mean a lot more to make quite an original story. See the mentioned films above and you will notice elements reminiscent of in this film. This film also is very witty with a lot of ironies and it parodies stereotypes in modern society which add to its humor. There were also references to some films of the horror genre of which i am not a fan but still caught a few.
The stop motion animation is very well done and is very lovely. The stop motion is excellent, colorful and has a large degree of detail.
Some people say it has dark themes, well personally if you watched Hocus Pocus as a kid and loved it, then you are sure to love this one since they have a lot of similarities.
'PARANORMAN': Three Stars (Out of Five)
An Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature Film (of 2012), and one of the better reviewed movies of the year, this stop-motion animated film tells the story of a boy who can communicate with dead people who's called on to save his town from a 300-year old curse. The film was written and co-directed (along with Sam Fell) by Chris Butler. Butler worked on the storyboards for other spooky animated films like 'CORALINE' and 'CORPSE BRIDE'. This marks his feature film directing and writing debut. The film was produced over the course of three years at a studio in Hillsboro, Oregon and is the first stop-motion animated film to use a 3D color printer to create it's character's faces (and the second to be shot in 3D). The voice cast includes the likes of Kodi Smit-McPhee (of 'LET ME IN' and 'THE ROAD' fame), Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin and John Goodman. I found the film to be a cut above the norm for this type of kid venture but not worth quite the critical rave it's received.
The film revolves around a boy by the name of Norman Babcock (Smit-McPhee) who is gifted with the ability of being able to speak to dead people. His family and other townsfolk in the small town of Blithe Hollow don't believe he can really communicate with spirits though and he's seen and treated as an outcast freak. A fellow classmate, who's also an outcast named Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), is the only one who believes Norman, along with Norman's uncle Mr. Prenderghast (Goodman). Mr. Prenderghast calls on Norman, one day, to protect the town from a 300-year old curse. Norman is informed that the curse was cast by a witch centuries ago and will bring about the living dead. Norman is reluctant to believe his uncle until zombies start walking the streets and it truly is up to Norman to use his special powers to save the day.
I have a hard time getting in to animated kid's films like this (especially stop-motion ones). Usually due to the fact that these films are all filled with one-dimensional characters and lame kid friendly jokes. This movie definitely has it's fair share of both these things but it also has a little more character and emotional depth than most animated films of this type. It also plays some good homage to monster films and has a nice retro feel to it (at times). The music is spectacular and it is a little more creepy and mature than you might expect from the trailers. It also has been praised (as well as condemned) for having the first openly gay character in a kid's film (which I think is a very good thing). The movie still has it's flaws and it isn't as cool as critics make it out to be but it is a decent, better than average animated kid's film.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Paranorman, the new stop motion animated film from Laika Studios is an
intriguing idea for a film that always falls just shy of its premise
thanks to a lackluster script and some occasionally jerky animation.
The film follows Norman, a lonely boy who can see and talk to ghosts.
When a Witch's Curse from back in the Puritan days brings zombies back
to life roaming Norman's town, it's up to Norman to save the day. The
best parts of the film are the jokes making stabs at classic horror
film clichés, such as the zombies being afraid of the humans trying to
kill them, rather than the other way around. As well, the examination
of bullying and its effects on children is handled fairly well through
Norman's journey in the film, but where the film falls short is in all
of the two-dimensional characters that surround Norman. All of the
characters that surround Norman are Hollywood movie clichés, the jock,
the bully, the dumb girl, etc. Then, add on to the fact that the
animation of the characters is often jerky, looking as if the animators
forgot to animate a few key frames, which in stop motion animation can
be headache inducing, and you have a so-so film.
I give Paranorman a 4 out of 10!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I suppose this just isn't my kind of movie. I didn't care for Coraline
either. While the animation is really good, as we have come to expect
nowadays, and the voice-acting is first-rate, I just got really tired
of watching ghosts chasing the boy during most of the middle of the
I suppose my best synopsis is "tedious." It lasts for about 90 minutes but I found myself thinking it would have made a really good 30-minute movie.
I suppose my other issue is that ghost stories with children being able to see ghosts has become tiresome to me.
A free DVD loan from my public library.
Paranorman tells the tale of Norman, who is afflicted with the strange
'power' of being able to see and talk to the dead. His local town is
one full of legends and curses and with the help of a few semi-friends
Norman is the only who can save it from a (not so) wicked witch.
Paranorman isn't quite a kiddie film. Sure, kids will enjoy the animation and a few of the more obvious physical jokes but the subject matter and tone of the film is a little too grown up. Lacking in Pixars fun and joviality Paranorman skirts off piste much like its well meaning but odd central character. Some kids wont get of the more subtle jokes or references (itchy weiners and the music) and i still find it strange that they made a kids film about zombies!
I had the same feeling watching Monster House a couple of years back. Much like Paranorman, Monster House is bags of fun and its message is one that i really appreciate but i felt that it didn't need to be as grimmly told.
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