Film Spotlight: ParaNorman 

ParaNorman

A stop-motion animation feature about a misunderstood young boy who sees dead people, ParaNorman comes across as a mash-up of Coraline (it's from the same animation studio, LAIKA), The Sixth Sense, and any number of Spielbergian kid-posse adventure movies.

Visually, it's excellent. This style of animation, already more two-dimensional and tactile than standard computer animation, works particularly well in 3-D. And the film is dotted with emblems of cool and interesting, from the design (the scratched-celluloid look of an old horror film Norman watches in the opening scene, askew camera angles, really snazzy closing credits) to the soundtrack (White Stripes' "Little Ghost," Dizzee Rascal's "Fix Up, Look Sharp") to the voice cast (Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann).

But the story — about a witch's curse in Norman's Salem-esque hometown — and script are more mundane than you might hope. The action is familiar, and the characters are types — even the attempts to break from type are too self-consciously clever and telegraphed.

While ParaNorman is from the same animation studio as Coraline, it isn't from the same filmmakers, and the difference between the two is the difference between art and craft, with ParaNorman lacking the creativity and refined feel for childhood sensitivities of Coraline. This film's social detail is coarser, and its horror elements too often settle for gross rather than creepy. The result is a work that's a slight cut above the animated-feature mean but nothing more.

Opens Friday, August 17th, at multiple locations

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite
ParaNorman
Rated PG · 93 min. · 2012
Official Site: paranorman.com
Director: Chris Butler and Sam Fell
Writer: Chris Butler
Producer: Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
Cast: Leslie Mann, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Bernard Hill, Jeff Garlin, Tempestt Bledsoe and Elaine Stritch

Trailer


Now Playing

ParaNorman is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Wildlife

      Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal are a couple in crisis in Paul Dano’s directorial debut.
    • Bohemian Rhapsody

      The Glossy Biopic Can’t Live Up To Freddy Mercury’s Legend
    • The Old Man And The Gun

      Robert Redford retires at the top of his game

Blogs

We Saw You

Indie Film Fest, Grilled Cheese Fest, Adapt-A-Door and more!

Tiger Blue

Tigers 109, Yale 102 (2 OT)

Tiger Blue

Tigers 28, SMU 18

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Defeat Kings 112-104

Hungry Memphis

Zopita's on the Square to open Nov. 19

Hungry Memphis

Little Italy Opening Downtown

News Blog

Seven Vie for Vacant District 1 Council Seat

News Blog

Group of White Women Test Mall’s No Hoodie Policy

Hungry Memphis

The Nine Now Open

Fly On The Wall Blog

What’s Kids in the Hall Co-Founder Kevin McDonald Doing in Memphis?

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Fifty Shades Freed

    Feature length commercial for luxury goods or chilling glimpse into the post-human future?
    • Feb 16, 2018
  • The Lost City of Z

    A mesmerizing story of obsession in the Amazon jungle
    • May 1, 2017
  • 2017: The Year In Film

    Taking stock of the big screen’s good and bad.
    • Dec 28, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation