Paranorman is a spooky animated movie made by Laike, that has done Caroline before. Both movies are cutesy scary movies, and both have something to do with Chris Butler. He was the guy behind the storyboard of Caroline, and he is the writer and director of ParaNorman, which he directed together with Sam Fell (Flushed Away). Sounds good right? It is! The trailer in which an innocent inhabitant of the city wants to have some crisps from a vending machine but then he gets attacked by zombies is amazing. He runs away screaming, only to return swiftly when the bag of crisps hit the bottom of the vending machine. Ah-oh!
The zombies do not fall from the sky in Blithe Hollow: the town is cursed because the inhabitants killed witch who now desires revenge. Thankfully Norman can communicate with ghosts, so it is up to him to make sure that zombie apocalypse does not happen. That is not an easy task, cause first he has to grab some book from his uncle, a situation ending up with a tongue on Normans face. Hihi, this is not your typical animated movie people.
A cool detail in this stop motion flick is that the faces of the characters are made by 3D color printer. You do not really notice it, as this really is a claymation movie filled with awesome detail. The characters have funny facial features and Laika really took the time to put as many movie references in there as possible (if you have seen Drag Me To Hell or Halloween, pay attention!) while still keeping the story interesting.
ParaNorman is not a movie that will make your popcorn fall from your mouth cause of laughing, but the smart little references and the cool dialogue (plus the stupidity of Normans friend Neil Downe) will definitely make your mouth curl up. Every character really is a person of their own and they all get the attention they deserve. I was very happy to see Mitch (Casey Affleck), a simple quarterback that shows his presence at the exact right time. Sometimes it is by saying something stupid, sometimes he shoots away a zombie head as a football: he is amazing.
All of this might not sound as child friendly and that is correct. Usually animated movies are for all ages, but ParaNorman is suitable for 9 years and up. There are many jump scares in the flick and it is in 3D, so the zombies really walk towards you. That can be very intense for kiddies. I am happy they did it like this, cause the movie is terrific. It is not a crazy circus filled with 3D effects, but they come at you at the right moments. Everything is the exact perfect dose and there is enough going on to keep you entertained through the whole thing.
You can totally enjoy ParaNorman if you do not like horror movies, as the references are often subtle and there is much more to love about this movie than just that. Laika has truly found a good balance between the multiple elements that make an animated movie successful.