By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 3 (Out of 5 Reels)

ParaNorman writer and co-director Chris Butler gave the characters in this film a unique look which honestly is what primarily drew me the screening.  Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a misunderstood boy who can see and speak to the dead who eventually takes on zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.  Being bullied regularly by his classmates Norman spends most of his time alone talking to ghosts and reading.  Mr. Prenderghast (John Goodman), Norman’s recently departed uncle shows up as a ghost claiming that if he doesn’t read from a fairy-tale book at the grave of a girl wrongfully killed because she was branded a witch hundreds of years earlier would return and wreak havoc on the town. 

Not feeling sad for Norman is impossible and I couldn’t help but want to see things get better for him.  I guess that is testament to how well that part of the script is written.  I found the stop animation effects of this film to be exceedingly well done.  I especially enjoyed the truly artistic way each character looked, no two are alike.  Some have big heads and small bodies, others the opposite.  That aspect alone kept me interest to see what was going to appear next.  I also liked how the characters changed their opinion towards each other as the plotline progressed. 

I use the almighty PIXAR films as a baseline for any animated film because they attend to every detail which includes something for the adults as well which is what is lacking in this film.  Absolutely no attention is paid to the adults who must take their children to see this film and I was disappointed in that.  This film is entertaining and children will absolutely love it but there is not much for the adult audience.

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