ParaNorman (2012)

ParaNorman
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

Plot:
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.

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The Tale of Desperaux (2008)

The Tale of Desperaux is the new animated movie based on the book by Kate DiCamillo, directed by Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen and with a very long, very prolific cast list: Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci, Ciarán Hinds, Robbie Coltrane, Tony Hale, Frances Conroy, Frank Langella, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Lloyd, Charles Shaughnessy and Sigourney Weaver. [Phew!]

Unfortunately, in Austria we got only the German version, so I got exactly nothing from that cast – and not even famous German actors to do the parts. [Which is not to say that the speakers didn’t do a good job…]

Plot:
The kingdom of Dor has one thing they’re absolutely famous for: Soup. Every year, they have the Day of the Soup where everybody gets to eat the royal soup and party. One year, an accident happens – Roscuro [Dustin Hoffman], a rat, drawn in by the smell of the soup, stumbles and falls into the plate of the queen. When he tries to apologise, the queen has a heart-attack and dies. Filled with grief, the king banishes all soup and all rats from the kingdom and Roscuro goes into exile.
This is the world Desperaux [Matthew Broderick] is born into – a mouse, who unlike all the others, is not afraid, doesn’t cower, duck or shoo. When he crosses paths with Roscuro, they set out to save themselves and the kingdom.

The movie is really very sweet, quite funny and the story is interesting, though it did feel a little unconnected in the beginning – probably a problem of the adaptation. [And I did have some issues.] But it’s definitely a movie that kids will enjoy.

despereaux-poster

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