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'ParaNorman' has flawless stop-motion animation

'ParaNorman' looks great and has nods to classic horror films.

By Marcella PapandreaKiller Film / August 16, 2012

'ParaNorman' handles 3-D successfully, using the medium to enhance the appearance of the film.

Focus Features/AP


I absolutely love stop-motion animation, I have ever since I was a kid. I was very excited when I first heard about ParaNorman, and even more so when the trailers hit. This was stop-motion with family flavour horror, that was really all I needed. My excitement proved to be valid, because ParaNorman is one of the best films I have seen in 2012, not only did it not disappoint, it actually exceeded my expectations.

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The story is about a young boy named Norman, he’s known as the weird one. He likes horror, he has a bit of a zombie obsession and he can see and talk to dead people. This talent comes in handy when his outcast Uncle passes and gives him clues on how to break a century old curse that will destroy the town. So Norman sets out on an adventure to stop the curse, bringing with him a colourful set of characters.

Horror fans will love this film, it has so many nods to the genre that us older folk will get a kick out of it. In fact the first ten minutes almost felt like a Troll 2 homage, only not laughably bad. This film is constantly funny, with a lot of heart. The characters are great and Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) is really well developed and someone we can all relate to. Other notable characters include his new found friend Neil (voiced by Tucker Albrizzi) and school bully Alvin (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse). These characters really play an important role, and this film certainly has a lot to say about bullying and it does it well and it never tries to preach.

The voice work was great, everyone really did a great job. They became their characters and really put forth a solid effort. I was surprised to see Casey Affleck in there and he was just fantastic, a cute role with a nice surprise. The real star here though is the stop-motion work, it was flawless. It looked stunning, each figure really came to life and each had their own distinct look. So much work was put into each character and it really paid off. The visuals were amazing, and the 3-D was actually very successful and handled in the way that I really like it. This really is a delightful film, with a good message and I’d highly recommend it to everyone.

Marcelle Papandrea blogs at Killer Film.

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