Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Casey Affleck
Director: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
When a centuries old curse is unleashed it’s up to a young outcast who can speak to the dead to save the town.
Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee)has a problem, he is known as the creepy little kid who says he can speak to dead people. A misunderstood kid who is bullied by oversized doofus Alvin ( Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and looked down upon by his older sister(Anna Kendrick) life for Norman is not ideal, he watches TV with his deceased grandmother and weirds out his parents. Norman’s only potential friend is Neil (Tucker Albrizzi) the equally tormented chubby kid. Their stock soon rises when an ancient curse involving a murdered witch unleashes the living dead upon Norman’s small town, the only chance to save everyone is for Norman to utilize his unique gift and break the curse
Paranorman is the second stop motion animation film from LAIKA the production house behind 2009′s Coraline, This time rendered in 3D! Paranorman is a visually exceptional film to behold, the animation is stellar, gone is the herky jerky stop motion of old. This is smooth to the point of looking like it’s primarily CGI. The story is immediately relevant with a solid anti bullying message, it’s the type of movie that is just as enjoyable for parents as it is for children from the opening intro to the final joke there is something for all ages. The voice cast assembled is stellar featuring supporting parts from Jeff Garland and the Great John Goodman. Not to mention we are talking about stop motion zombies and horror influences. It’s funny, contains a current and relevant message and is filled with a great atmosphere and cast of characters. In a year with a very strong animated slate of films, Paranorman is the Dark Horse for best Animated Feature film of the year. If not the best, it’s easily the coolest animated film of the year to watch.
*The only issue that might arise is the conversation on death that a parent will need to have with the smaller ones. This doesn’t detract from the film in the slightest but parents might want to know going in.