Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ParaNorman Trimmed Review

I am not the world’s biggest animation fan.  That said, I tend to prefer DreamWorks Animation over Fox or Pixar (blasphemy, I know).  How to Train Your Dragon and both Kung Fu Panda films are some of my favorite of their respective years.  Stop-motion animation also intrigues me; I enjoyed Coraline (some of the best 3D I’ve ever seen) and The Fantasic Mr. Fox, not just for their animation style but their witty and smart writing.  Thankfully, ParaNorman falls into that category.

There is only one word to accurately describe ParaNorman – incredible.  From beginning to end, Norman is intelligently written and beautifully animated, mixing fantastic stop-motion with more modern CG effects.  The narrative is paced quite well, blending horror and comedy with aplomb.  I can see smaller children getting very scared by the events of the third act of Norman; it goes to a pretty dark place.  Some of the greater themes on display will most likely be lost on the children that this film is marketed to, but adults will be able to appreciate the narrative arcs incredibly.  Same goes for the dialogue.  Norman isn’t afraid to throw around some sexual innuendo or crude humor that will fly right over the heads of kids.  One of the main character’s sexual orientation is turned on its head with a throwaway line of dialogue – and it’s brilliant.

ParaNorman is just a fantastic film on almost every level.  The dialogue, story, animation, and voice-acting are all top-notch.  If you enjoy animated films that are intelligent and witty, I cannot recommend Norman highly enough.  Just maybe don’t take small children to it.

ParaNorman is an incredibly engaging, beautifully-made horror/comedy that’s just as smart for kids as adults.

The Bearded Bullet

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