From the creators of Coraline comes one of the most fun and enjoyable movies of the summer. It’s ParaNorman and it is very much worth a viewing!
The animation company, Laika, continues to catch my attention when it comes to visually amazing films. First Coraline and now ParaNorman. But this time while the story material is a little dark, they rise from their previous movie which struggled to grab a young audience and made the scariness a extremely fun.
ParaNorman follows the story of a boy, Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), who has the unique gift of being able to see and talk to the dead. This mainly pertains to ghosts of people who have “stuff left in life” and are hanging around the world in an attempt to finish their duties. As you may think, when you supposedly talk to the dead it doesn’t translate well towards being a social superstar and Norman is bullied.
Where this movie excels is in the script. The story is very witty and fun and the twist on the regular zombie movie is a pleasant one that gives the audience a fun new avenue to go concerning monster movies. It gives us a slew of entertaining characters ranging from Norman’s friend Neil (voiced by Tucker Albrizzi) to his sister Courtney (voiced by Anna Kendrick) to the very odd Mr. Prenderghast (voiced by John Goodman). The range of hilarious character each with a different personality makes the group that is looking for the monster very fun and keeps you entertained and laughing while being frightened.
The biggest applause for this movie goes towards what Coraline struggled with. While I really liked Coraline I could see why it wasn’t accepted very well by the general public because while it was advertised for kids, it was not really a kids movie. The premise got a little too dark and it just didn’t seem to translate over as well as they thought. ParaNorman did not have this problem as it kept kids entertained and laughing but at the same time dove into its dark premise. In the theatre, there were a lot of kids laughing from beginning to end and while it has its share of scares it is nothing crazy and is safe to bring children to. I hope that Laika continues to pump out movies similar to this one that not only are amazing and creative animation but also a load of fun.
My only problem came from the story. It left no reason to why Norman had these powers and left us just assuming that it was just hereditary. While it is shown that Mr. Prenderghast has the powers as well, he doesn’t tell Norman why he has this gift and I felt that they could use the reason he has the powers as part of the climax of the movie. But this was a minor flaw.
In conclusion, ParaNorman is a beautifully animated movie and one of the best of the summer. It is a great homage to classic Hollywood monster movies and gives us a chance to somewhat re-live them. It is a great story and it has memorable characters and lines. You’ll leave the theatre happy with easily the best animated movie this year.