Friday, September 14, 2012

ParaNorman

2012 ****1/2

Luckily enough I was working on the upcoming season of Robot Chicken the same week this movie came out, and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios bought a ticket for everyone. (The stop-motion world being as tiny as it is, we had a couple of the movie's animators with us on staff to boot.)

I was looking for a trailer with a nice plot summary so I didn't have to do one. This trailer fails on that note, but it does capture the mood and the rather striking visual style. Norman is an outcast kid cursed/blessed with the Sixth Sense sense, and it really is heartbreaking seeing his neighbors watch him walk to school every morning. How could they not shake their heads, as he politely ducks, dodges and cheerily greats a streetful of people who aren't there. But they are, they're just dead. Then his visions kick up several notches and he learns it's down to him to protect his town from a centuries-old curse.

The story is not epic in scope, which is why it works as well as it does. It's small, but nearly perfect. And the technical aspect of this movie is unmatched; these are some of the best puppets and stop-motion animation I've ever seen. Recommended for everyone (although it's not out on dvd until November, dang it).

I will now make a general observation: while there is an inherent spookiness to the sight of stop-motion, many of my friends in the industry bemoan the fact that it's locked in to the goth/horror mode. That might sound funny coming from me, here, but I know I'm right. Can you imagine a goofy Flash Gordon style sci-fi adventure done this way? I can.

2 comments:

Catfreeek said...

I too loved Paranorman, such a fun flick. Abduscias and I went to see it a couple of weeks ago. Did you happen to catch the W sparking out on the Witchy Weenies sign leaving it as itchy Weenies? The film is filled with little spurts of adult humor, I love that.

DCD said...

Cool - I'm happy to hear this is good. I'd like to take the kids. Do you think it would be too scary for Mags?