I’ve seen ParaNorman at least twice before today’s viewing. Although, I think this was the first time I gave it the most of my attention. Laika Studios definitely has the claymation world on lock. I still don’t feel like I have given the film enough of my attention, but I give ParaNorman the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.
Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) can see and talk to the dead. Naturally, this makes him a freak to the people in his home town. Yet, as the curse of a young witch falls on his shoulders, he has to stand up to everyone who has ever looked down on him.
The film has a really solid cast that I didn’t realize until this viewing. I’m a fan of Kodi Smit-McPhee as well as Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Tucker Albrizzi does a great job as well playing Neil, the first friend Norman seems to acquire. The cast is great and the animation is to the same quality I’ve come to expect from Laika.
The story really works as a metaphor for acceptance. Metaphor may be a bit strong of a word as it’s right there on the surface. However, the witchcraft, talking with the dead, and zombies are not from reality. So, it’s a little easier to understand why people would be afraid of them. However, it’s their reactions and quickness to condemn the different that stands out as the theme of the film. We watch Norman suffer because of his family and peers who don’t accept him. He didn’t choose his ability, but he has to deal with the consequences of it.
If you’ve missed ParaNorman it’s time to watch it. In fact, now is a great time to watch all four of the Laika films. I plan on watching Boxtrolls relatively soon. We picked up the Bluray three pack of Coraline, ParaNorman, and Boxtrolls for my daughter this Christmas. In fact, it was her idea to watch ParaNorman today. She says it’s her favorite of the three. Kubo and the Two Strings is my favorite of the four.