ParaNorman (2012)

Director: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Writer: Chris Butler
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Hill, John Goodman

Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) would be a normal boy if it wasn’t for the fact that he is able to speak with ghosts. Which the people around him either try to ignore (his family) or use as an excuse to bully him (his schoolmate Alvin). Only his dead grandma gives him support and his schoolmate Neil (Tucker Albrizzi) tries insistently to befriend him. But everything changes when his (seemingly?) crazy uncle Mr Prenderghast (John Goodman) warns him of the witch’s curse – and that Norman is the only one who can keep the dead from rising.

ParaNorman is sweet and absolutely funny, made with a lot of loving references to the B-to-D-horror-movies that usually feature zombies. I loved it.

This movie has probably the (not extremely) secret agenda of raising a new generation of genre movie lovers. [It gets my full approval for that.] And it does so not only charmingly, but also very spot on. The beginning, which is a straight-up spoof of all those B-and-lower genre movies, is perfect and perfectly funny.

I also thought that the morale of the story was mostly nice: that you should let go of your anger and not use past injuries to excuse your own crappy behaviour. Though I did feel like maybe it was placing the responsibility of resolving the situation a little too much on the victims of bullying, and too little on the actual perpetrators. But maybe that’s just a little too nit-picky from my side.

If I may nit-pick a little more: While the animation was stunningly beautiful, I did not love the character designs. Especially Norman’s sister and Neil’s brother where just a little too out there for my taste. And the amount of stupid people in this one was rather amazing. Pretty much everyone except Norman and his family was just dumb.

But these really are only small things. I did completely enjoy myself  for the entirety of the movie, I laughed, I had a very good time and I wouldn’t hesitate to drag everyone I know to see it.

Summarising: Very much worth seeing.

One comment

  1. 2nd challenge: Discover your purpose in life in 20 minutes.
    Here’s how:
    “1)Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type (I prefer the latter because it’s faster).
    2)Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
    3)Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.
    4)Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.”

    I stumbled across this guy’s website by googling “how to raise early”. :D Usually I’m not really into self-help/self-development literature because it’s always so corny. But I liked this task because the answers I got where of interest to me (even though I never found anything that made me cry.)
    Even if you don’t want to make it a blogpost – try this 20-minutes exercise and tell me of it when we meet face2face. ;)

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