It’s one of those counterprogramming type of weekends at theatres all across our beautiful country as the two major releases of the weekend are actually two very different films. Opening today from our friends at Alliance Films is an animated adventure from the minds and animation geniuses that gave us “Coraline”. It’s time to meet “ParaNorman”.
Starring the voice talents of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Directed by Chris Butler & Sam Fell
In “ParaNorman” we are taken to a small town that comes under siege from the zombie horde and in their time of need there is only one person that they call and that is misunderstood local boy Norman (Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst, of all, grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. However this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits as he tries to save his family, his friends and his town from something worse than they could have all imagined.
With “ParaNorman” we get the real fan-boy experience wrapped up in a neat and tidy, not to mention highly entertaining 3D animated yarn that is one of the more visually stunning films of 2012 that will dazzle you from its opening minutes. Directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell meticulously crafted this stop motion universe with such care and attention to detail that we effortlessly get hooked into Norman’s world who gets constantly bulled by the people around him that just don’t understand him. You might try to fight it, but you’ll be rooting for him in this charmingly macabre story that actually wears its heart on its sleeve. The Laika Animation studio put so much care into telling an inspiring story that embraces so many different allegories while delivering such a strong message that being different is not only OK, it’s actually pretty darn cool and managed to wrap it up in a zombie story that would make George A Romero not only proud, but accessible to the younger generation as well.
As our young hero Norman Babcock, Kodi Smit-McPhee manages to bring some plucky energy as the young man who sees dead people and as the story movies forward he crafts a young hero for the next generation of moviegoers to get behind. Along with some very strong voice acting through out, the entire ensemble knew this was going to be something pretty special as some very familiar voices that included Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Leslie Mann, Casey Affleck and Anna Kendrick all show up as part of Norman’s motley crew of friends and family trying to save their town.
You heard the promise before but “ParaNorman” is actually one of those animated films that are fun for all age groups, not just a film to keep the kids entertained for 90 minutes.
4 out of 5 stars.
“ParaNorman” is playing at theatres in 2D & 3D all across the country; check with your local listings for show times.
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