Picture Courtesy of Focus Features & Universal Pictures

Picture Courtesy of Focus Features & Universal Pictures

Stop-motion animation always seems to get me.  There is a lot of work that goes into these films, I cannot imagine moving individual things ever so slightly and taking photographs to be fast forward into a film.  It seems like it would take forever.  I think this style of film reminds me of Tim Burton and some of his films, and as being a Tim Burton fan, I imagine this is where some of that interest comes from.

ParaNorman is about a boy named Norman Babcock who is able to speak with the dead.  No one in his family believes him, and has also made him an outcast and victim in school. Norman lives with his family in a town called Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts.  Interestingly enough to this day the town still relies heavily on its witch hunting history incorporating it into its town sign along with many of its store names and themes.  You would think being surrounded by so much of this there would be more believers in the town.

Norman is confronted by his estranged uncle Mr. Prenderghast (voiced by John Goodman) who claims that he can also see ghosts.  Norman has been told repeatedly to stay away from his uncle, but his uncle is determined to reach Norman.  He has a very stalker-like quality along with the bounty of photographs of Norman pinned up in his house.  They do not go into much detail about this though.  Norman’s connection with his uncle ultimately leads to Norman having duties passed down to him, which he must do to save the town from a 300 year old curse. 

Animation is usually associated with children.  The humour tends to be bland or off the deep end, but thankfully ParaNorman offers a more adult comedy.  I would consider it one of those movies that kids would laugh at, but you would laugh and wonder if the children really understand what was just said and done.  I’m not saying it is a vulgar movie or anything, it is definitely kid friendly (as long as they don’t get nightmares from the witches and zombies.)  I wouldn’t take this movie completely off your lists of movies to see, but I wouldn’t exactly rave about it either.  It was really cute and had some funny parts, but over all it did not blow me away. 


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