Action / Adventure / Animation / Comedy / Family / Fantasy


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November 18, 2012 at 01:53 PM



Anna Kendrick as Courtney Babcock
Ariel Winter as Blithe Hollow Kid
Leslie Mann as Sandra Babcock
3D 720p 1080p
1.60 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 32 min
P/S 5 / 6
650.51 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 32 min
P/S 17 / 104
1.30 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 32 min
P/S 14 / 86

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by IllusionOfLife 9 / 10

Easily One of the Best Movies I've Seen This Year

I came into ParaNorman with a sense of cautious optimism. I absolutely adore stop motion animation, and I genuinely fell in love with Coraline, LAIKA's previous effort, but the trailers for the film didn't capture my interest in the story in the way I hoped they would and this film also didn't have the benefit of being helmed by the brilliant Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, Coraline). That being said, I am extremely happy to report that ParaNorman absolutely delivers on every level you could hope for.

ParaNorman tells a story about a young boy named Norman who has the unusual ability to see and talk to the dead, an ability which has led him to be ostracized by the other members of his community, including his own family. The New England town in which he lives is famous for a historic witch execution, along with the legend of a curse that the witch put upon those who sentenced her to death. It turns out that the legend of the curse is true, and that Norman, with his ability to talk to the dead, is the only one who can prevent the curse from raising the dead. Unfortunately, Norman is unable to act fast enough and the Witch's curse begins to wreak havoc on the town.

ParaNorman is a film with many strengths. Stop motion animation is always a beautiful and fascinating process, and with new technological advances the filmmakers have been able to bring it to a level of detail and expression that are simply astounding. While the scope of the story may be smaller than something like Coraline or Nightmare Before Christmas, the scale of the stop motion sets for this town are truly incredible. The film absolutely immerses you in this world that feels like a living, breathing, place. As beautiful as the animation in Brave was, ParaNorman is easily the most visually impressive film I have seen this year.

As beautiful as the film is, it never falls into the trap of so many other animated films by simply being visual spectacle with no narrative soul. The story of the film is fun, intelligent, and heartfelt, and is supported by a great cast of characters. The odd kid who is misunderstood is a common trope in kids' movies, but what makes Norman stand out is that he's never mopey about it. He is ostracized, bullied, and rejected, but he's come to a kind of acceptance about the whole thing. He's certainly not happy about it, but at this point he's not trying to fit in, he's really just trying to keep his head down and get through the daily grind. This is part of what makes his relationship with the other characters in the film work so well. For instance Neil genuinely accepts Norman for who he is and it's obvious that this throws Norman for a loop and he doesn't really know how to interact with someone who "gets him." This is never spoken, but it plays out naturally through the performances of the characters.

As the narrative progresses it takes some really interesting turns, and at times is genuinely surprising and emotional. Without spoiling anything, I'll just say that a large part of the narrative revolves around assumptions and misunderstanding, and it brilliantly uses the audience's assumptions and expectations about the genre and its conventions against them.

It's also worth mentioning that this is one of the rare films which decidedly benefits from the addition of 3D. There's some fun play with perspective, and being able to see the dimension that exists in these sets adds a lot to the experience.

I genuinely loved ParaNorman and it's easily one of my favorite films this year. It's not a movie for everyone, but if any of the trailers gave you even a glimmer of interest I would definitely recommend checking this one out. LAIKA is certainly beginning to make a name for themselves in the animation scene and I'm really looking forward to whatever their next project will be. I think I still prefer Coraline which definitely benefited from the combination of Neil Gaiman's fantastic story and Henry Selick's experienced hand, but ParaNorman is a truly fantastic film and it's definitely worth a look.


Reviewed by dmhughes-448-695102 9 / 10

Another Animated Hit From The Makers Of Coraline!

Focus Features has only had two animated films up to this point; the beautifully crafted, but story-lacking 9, and of course the gorgeous and creepy Coraline. Now, this studio's third animated film gives us both a funny and creepy story about a town under siege by zombies and an ancient witch's curse. It's one of the best movies of the late summer, and should easily compete for at the Academy Awards for Best Animated Film.

The film in itself is split into two sections. The first shows Norman, an out-of-place kid in a small New England town who has the ability to talk to ghosts. Since he has no real friends, he doesn't mind the undead. He's picked on at school for being different, and we see that whenever another person, like the geek Neil, wants to be friends with him, he tries to push them away. Norman's older sister, and Neil's older brother are the stereotypical cheerleader and football jock, and they torment Norman as well. And then we have the school bully; every film seems to have them these days.

The second part of the film sees Norman become an unlikely hero after a witch's curse raises the dead back to life and all chaos breaks loose. There are some creepy moments, but the characters are always cracking off one-liners according to the situation, so it kept the film funny as well as adrenaline pumping. The only thing I didn't like about the story was the climax. It's not that I didn't like it, it's just that it felt sort of phoned in. Overall, the voice acting is great, the animation is superb as always, and the 3D remarkably works well. I was expecting a great movie, and I got it with this film. It may be a little too scary for kids under the age of 10, but everyone else should have a blast. I hope this film does well, and I can't wait to see what Focus Feature's next big animated project will be.

Final Verdict: 9/10

Reviewed by Boba_Fett1138 8 / 10

A different kind of animated movie and approach. I really liked it!

This was a rather surprising movie. It's unlike any other modern animated movie and picks a new sort of approach, that should work entertaining for both adults and kids.
There is plenty of 'simple' stuff to enjoy for young kids in this movie but also the adults shall have no complaints about it. Throughout the years animated movies often had both stuff for both kids and adults to enjoy in this movie but I feel that the line dividing the two different forms of entertainment is getting more and more blurry. Instead the two things more often get effectively combined, with as a result more and more movies get released that aren't being too childish for adults or too mature for little kids. It's being perfect entertainment for just about everybody!
I do admit though that I was a bit surprised to see how horror orientated this movie was. Make no mistake about it, this is a horror movie. It might be a bit frightening for some children but obviously most shall be perfectly capable of handling it. Fantasy and movies can be a great outlet and also stimulant for children's imagination, this also includes horror orientated stuff. After all, most kids are of course perfectly capable of making a distinction between real stuff and fantasy.
And I do applaud this movie for not being overly fluffy or careful and protective toward children. Not that that this is being a completely dark, or scary, depressing movie to watch but overall it's being a tad bit more dark and daring than just an average animated movie.
It's really having a style and approach of its own, which just doesn't goes for its story or the fact that this is being a more genuine horror flick but also really for its comedy and characters. The characters all feel rich and very much alive (yes, even the dead characters!) and the humor is more clever and often dialog orientated, as opposed to having characters jumping around and falling and bumping into stuff. In that regard this movie also feels far more mature than just the average genre attempt.
And another important aspect about an animated movie; it's a really good looking one! It's using stop-motion techniques and it shows that this genre is far from outdated or dead. It's really something that gives the movie an unique look and feel. I don't know, it's perhaps pleasant that it's being something that allows the movie to feel 'fake' and true exaggerated fantasy-like, as opposed to CG animated movies, that are getting more and more smooth and realistic to watch.
It's also a movie with a great underlying message in it, that tells you it's OK to be different and there is nothing weird or wrong about it and you shouldn't just judge a book on its cover. It's still too bad this message was lost on some people and I'm talking about those who had a problem with its ending. It was perfectly suitable and fitted perfectly into what this entire movie was trying to tell you for the first hour and a half.
A surprisingly good movie in about every regard, that above all things is being perfectly fun and entertaining to watch!

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