ParaNorman (2012) Review

This film is surprisingly good, little scary for kids but if you’re kids love ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ then you and your kids will love it. What I didn’t expect from this animation is such a clever little story, from the trailer I thought it would simply be a stupid zombie skit for kids but there is a much more thoughtful story lying underneath with an important moral to its story. The voice acting is great and the characters are really funny with a great mix of backgrounds making an interesting gang of unlikely heroes to save the day. I really liked the unusual visuals, a mix between stop-motion and CGI it made for crazy looking people and monsters but they some pretty impressive effects to back them up for example the witches powers were really impressive to look at. Hope all my readers get a chance to see it and I look forward to your comments.

ParaNorman - Banner

The new 3D stop-motion comedy thriller from animation company LAIKA, reteaming the company with Focus Features after the groundbreaking Academy Award-nominated Coraline. ParaNorman is, following Coraline, the company’s second stop-motion animated feature to be made in 3D. In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (Kodi 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. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.

Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended.

Story: 90%       Acting: 85%      Visuals: 95%      Dialogue: 85%

Thrill/Fun: 90%      Style/Sound: 95%      Characters: 92%

Total: 90%

ParaNorman - Poster

The story is really fun but also has a much smarter background that doesn’t get revealed until the end and I won’t be spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t seen the film yet. Apart from the main story itself its start really connects you to the characters because its initial idea of a boy who can see and talk to the dead, this connection alienates him from his family and other children because they all view him as a weirdo who thinks he can talk to dead people, the talking to the dead is new but a story of an outsider is proven when it comes to connecting to a younger audience as it’s a feeling most us get at one point or another when we’re younger (Especially us weird ones). The voice acting and characters were really good, the father who doesn’t understand his son and fears he’s crazy, the mother trying to understand but ultimately cant, the spoilt older sister (I have one) who just thinks his brother is mad, then you have weird uncle and fat best friend. The characters are all great and work because of the actors behind them.

ParaNorman - Captain hits a zombie

I have really liked stop-motion ever since Wallace and Gromit but I have never done so well with CGI before, the effect this gives us is that were in a stop motion world and then supernatural things start to happen that look obviously different and the parts when they are mixed look magnificent and show a great deal of time and care went into putting together this film. The style and sound is great and has constant reminders of past horror films my personal favourite is when Neil is in the garden wearing the hockey mask the music and pause before he says anything is pure gold and I couldn’t stop laughing, I think this scene is at the end of the trailer below. As for the rest of the film it’s filled with homages to the great horror films of the past and included a fantastic set of sounds and music tracks to get you feeling spooky and fun.

Must Watch Trailer:

The best reviews I have found would be these “Ingenious and wonderfully detailed, though better in its imaginative horror than its slightly too-broad comic knockabout” Kim Newman. Also “The film avoids the pandering of many animated features, bringing an acerbic edge and a thrilling intelligence to its story” Bruce Diones. Lastly “Funny, frightening, exciting and extremely thoughtful about the nature of the conflict at the core of the film, ParaNorman is a standout feature animation” Thomas Caldwell. My favourite scene would have to be when you find out what has really been happening and why the witch is so angry and the zombies have risen, its clever, makes you think and has a strong moral point that kids should really learn from watching the film as it hold more reality than you might expect.

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

15 responses to “ParaNorman (2012) Review”

  1. The Focused Filmographer says :

    I have heard quite a bit about this film and its story. I look forward to seeing this film soon. I wasn’t too interested in seeing it but all the positive reviews make it one that I may still end up seeing one of these days.


  2. mistylayne says :

    Finally got to see this and really enjoyed it! Quirky and adorable. 🙂


  3. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop says :

    Nice review Tim! I really enjoyed this, it was a tough call between this and Frankenweenie for my favourite animated film of last year. I thought the animation was brilliant, especially the scenes with the witch at the end, and I’m surprised at how genuinely creepy it was in places.


  4. Daniel says :

    I was really happy to learn that this movie has been nominated for an Academy Award (Best Animated Feature) ! Nice Review !!!


  5. wordschat says :

    It and Wreck-it-Ralph were the two stand out animated movies of 2012. Both had fun for kids, messages they slip in and great gags; the hockey mask being the beat. Never look at brushing teeth the same way either. Nice review Tim.


  6. CMrok93 says :

    Fine review Tim. This flick seemed to have plenty of fun with itself and made me laugh more than I actually expected. Problem is, it does take awhile to get it’s story going but once it does get going, it’s a fun little ride.


  7. Fogs' Movie Reviews says :

    I’m with you, Tim. I liked this one quite a bit. Then somehow I forgot about it and it getting an Academy Award nom surprised me. LOL

    I thought the animation was great, it had some good humor, and I loved the lessons they incorporated into the final showdown with the witch. The animation there was really spectacular…


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  1. ParaNorman Review: Something for Everyone | Rorschach Reviews - January 28, 2013

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