Thursday, 6 September 2012

Movie Review - ParaNorman


Actually, the dead rose up on their own, haha.
ParaNorman

That's me in a yucky mask :P
Extra Scene!  Wait until the very end to see how Norman really works.
Zombies or ghosts?  Whatever! Norman talks to the dead.
Stop motion isn't dead!  The old school animation technique is brought by to life... by zombies!  Norman of ParaNorman is presented as sensitive to ghosts but zombies are more of his fascination.  He gets to see them up close when he is charged with the task to set the dead at ease in a night of horror and laughs.
Popular girl, freak, bully, misfit, jock.  The zombie's 'dead' ahead.
ParaNorman has a typical 'kids' setting with the misfits versus the bullies and popular teens.  The 'fitting in' aspect turns out to be extremely important to the plot and it ties with the acceptance of family.  That part of the drama gets too heavy handed at one point (holding hands scene) but its use in the climax is more powerful and effective.  The basic lesson isn't new but the element it explores is almost new territory.  There are also role reversals and twists in the story that are guaranteed to catch those unaware off guard.
I 'ear'd this movie has sex and violence.
ParaNorman is progressive in terms of themes.  It's marketed as a children's movie but, right of the bat, when asked what Norman is exposed to, he answers with "sex and violence." Well, the onscreen violence is toonified (like the zombies and the mob) but the behind the scene implications are quite horrific.  Seriously.  Heady stuff for a kid flick.  As for the sexual aspect, again, there is nothing onscreen but flirtation but the throwaway nature of one bit is jaw dropping.  It's ramifications within American animated cinema may be huge.
As an art form, we're still not dead!
Stop motion in itself is an art form that probably won't completely disappear, despite CGI being the norm.  ParaNorman isn't completely free of computer imagery but the care in producing such quality of detail in clay form is admirable.  Emotions and expressions are well depicted in their medium and the designs are exceptional, especially the antagonist.
A movie for the whole family.  Dead or alive.
ParaNorman excels in its execution and is a worthy film to watch.  It can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.  The deeper subtext is hidden by the comedy but hopefully such lessons will be absorbed.  There should be more movies like this.


Don't read the SPOILERS unless you want to be attacked by Zombies!  or have already seen the movie.
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Pictures courtesy of Focus Features/LAIKA BTW.
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Everybody laughed at his first death scene.
Norman's uncle should have written stuff down more carefully.  Even I was caught off guard with the whole witch's grave being confused with the graves of the zombies.
Sleeping Beauty is quite appropriate.
I knew something was up when the book was a fairy tale.  I just didn't realize it was that extreme.

The connection between the witch and the bloodline is understated and is kinda interesting that they downplayed it.
His earrings are up-to-date actually.
Once the zombies start mobilizing, the bully'srole is kinda forgotten.

I figured Norman could have asked help from the ghosts to read through the library.  He didn't use this ghost sight ability that well at that point because it was all focused on zombies.

I'm disappointed that the husky kid doesn't take part in the final confrontation.  I know it's Norman's time to shine by himself but that boy is his true friend and what prompts Norman to realize that he can be accepted.  He deserves to see it through the end.
He mentioned a boyfriend but his 'baby' was his car.
Was that two guys holding hands in the background at the wrecked bookstore scene?  I couldn't tell because they were too far back.  Of course, that idea is eclipsed by Mitch coming out immediately after that, haha.  There shouldn't be any problem with that because the moral of the movie is being accepted.  Norman is different.  Mitch is too.  Just differently.

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