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

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

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for ParaNorman

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • War For The Planet Of The Apes

      Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson get down to serious monkey business
    • The Big Sick

      The course of true love never did run smooth.

Blogs

Politics Beat Blog

Luttrell Endorses Randy Boyd for Governor

Music Blog

Listen Up: Ben Abney

Politics Beat Blog

Cohen Tells It!

Hungry Memphis

Royal's Yvonne Mitchell Cooking Up Hits

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (July 27-August 2)

We Saw You

Blues on the Bluff, Luna, Frank Murtaugh

News Blog

High Ozone Levels Forecasted for Wednesday

Fly On The Wall Blog

Dammit Gannett: "Where's Elvis" Edition

News Blog

Alligator Decoys to Curb Geese at Botanic Garden

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…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

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