ParaNorman

ParaNorman is a love letter to the horror genre while still maintaining its own spin. Hands down ParaNorman pulls off some of the best stop motion animation to date, which is enough to validate the movie price itself. A nice executed story along with some talented voice acting creates an amazing movie experience. Parents may take issue with its strong PG rating but ParaNorman is both fun as it is intense and will tell a story both emotional and uplifting to parents and children a like.

ParaNorman has been out in theaters for about a month now and I was beginning to think that I wasn’t going to make it out to see it. Luckily I managed to see it this weekend and realize now how big of a mistake it would have been had I missed it. It’s a testament to your movie when it captivates younger audiences to the point of undivided attention. This is something that I’ve only experienced in Pixar movies. Not only were the younger audiences invested but they were moved by some of the emotional moments in the movie. If you haven’t guessed by now, I back this movie one hundred percent.

ParaNorman is a love letter to the horror film genre. Paying homage to classic horror themes as well as poking fun with it. It even manages to add it’s on spin on horror tropes creating some nice surprises. Even the music is reminiscent of the traditional horror movies and it creates a nice feel to the film.

The movie is filled with a lot of visual gags, some which are a little more on the mature side. The make or break aspect of this movie deals with some of the sexual undertone in this movie. Although subtle it’s still something to take into consideration. It’s not all sexual jokes though; the jokes are clever and smart as well as perfectly delivered by the voice actors. That being said the movie finds a way to balance humor for both young and older audiences a like. Conservative parents may find some issues with this movie, but no matter your parenting policies this movie definitely earns a strong PG rating.

The plot of ParaNorman is straightforward. A young boy is able to interact with the dead and in doing is shunned by both his peers and family. However his ability ends up setting him on a path to help stop an ancient curse set upon his small town, Blithe Hollow. The message of the movie is great, and I think will give parents some food for thought. The pieces in this movie may feel a bit familiar but the execution of this movie is done well enough to feel fresh and entertaining. The movie also does a neat job of linking the Salem Witch Trials into its story. The movie’s narrative strength is in its wonderful third act. Both intense and emotional, the dialogue, the voice acting, and the stop motion animation, creates a worthy payoff.

Stop motion animation is such a great technique but it always has a thin line to walk when it comes to being immersed within the movie. Coraline, another good stop motion movie, was entertaining and beautifully animated but there were moments where I was taken out of the movie. ParaNorman is able to create and maintain an immersive world and pull off amazing visual effects. It also doesn’t beat you over the head with dark color tones but instead is colorful and lively. It’s able to use its color diversity to create an immersive world and pull off some stunning animated scenes. Some of which can be credited to its wonderful use of 3D. Now I’m on the fence when it comes to 3D but movies like ParaNorman make strong cases for this new viewing experience. 3D is definitely the way to see this movie.

If I had to pick something out to complain about it would be the indecisive way it handles its secondary characters. ParaNorman features a lot of creative characters both in design and personality but it seems like it had a hard time managing the four other companions to Norman. One of which was Norman’s best friend, Neil. They set him up as a sidekick to Norman but they don’t spend enough time on screen to convey this thoroughly. Instead, Norman’s partnerships are juggled among his school bully, Alvin, his sister Courtney, and Neil’s older brother, Mitch. It’s a minor complaint but still enough for me to want to see these relationships fleshed out more.

ParaNorman is a love letter to the horror genre while still maintaining its own spin. Hands down ParaNorman pulls off some of the best stop motion animation to date, which is enough to validate the movie price itself. A nice executed story along with some talented voice acting creates an amazing movie experience. Parents may take issue with its strong PG rating but ParaNorman is both fun as it is intense and will tell a story both emotional and uplifting to parents and children a like.

Interested in writing reviews or news posts for Thinking Cinematic? Contact me at rrsolis@me.com! You can also send your guest reviews there too!

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Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
Twitter: @Think_Cinematic 

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