Paranorman is a 2012 stop-motion comedy/horror film. It was made by Laika and was distributed by Focus Features.
It is the first stop-motion film to use a 3D color printer to create character faces, and only the second to be shot in 3D.
The movie is about Norman Babcock, an 11-year-old boy living in Massachusetts. He has the unique ability to speak with the dead, but nobody believes him, so he is often teased by his classmates and his family, but his best friend Neil Downe believes him. One day is the 300th anniversary of the witch's death, a large part of the culture of their town. Norman and his classmates later perform a school play about the witch's execution, but during the play, Norman gets a vision about the town's past, where he is being witch hunted.
He is later sent a message from his deceased uncle, who tells him that the witch is going to send a curse to the town if he doesn't stop it. Norman promises to stop the witch, but will he be too late?
Why it Rocks
- Wonderful and fluid stop-motion animation, especially for being the first stop-motion film to use full-color 3D printers for animation.
- Kodi Smit-McPhee is awesome as Norman. The same can be said about the other voice actors in the film and the characters they voiced.
- Most characters are likable, especially the main protagonist, Norman.
- The sequence at the end credits showing how Norman's puppet was built and how he moved was very interesting.
- It proves that the "main character gets bullied for being different" cliche can be used in a good way.
- Lots of funny moments, such as when Neil plays with his ghost dog.
- The plot twist is powerful.
- The character designs are well-made.
- The scene where Norman talks to the young girl was somewhat heartwarming.
- It had a great ending.
- Its message on accepting others for who they are and standing up against bullying is powerful.
- Similar to the Laika film that came before it, Coraline, it can get too inappropriate for a family movie at times. It's somewhat too scary and dark for younger kids, but it also contains many sexually suggestive references and some mild swearing.
- As mentioned earlier, it is structured on the "main character gets bullied for being different" cliche which has been done many times, even if this film puts it to good use.
It received mainly positive reviews and was a modest box office success, earning $107 million worldwide against its budget of $60 million. The film was nominated for that year's Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film.