50 New Films in 100 Days: Paranorman

January 27, 2013


This was a fun kids movie, was unfortunately a bit predictable and while it tried to work in humor for adults, the humor ended up being really predictable.  The animation was good and the coloring was good, I would liken it in some ways to Tim Burton and The Corpse Bride where it worked more in a grey tone as compared to bright colors that you see from many of the Pixar films.

The story is of Norman, a not so normal little kid, who is a loser and who can see ghost and talk to them.  He starts having weird flashes/visions of a forest and that makes him from a loser into more of a loser.  There is one kid who likes Norman, and is also an out cast.  Norman’s Uncle comes and visits him and tries to warn him of a witch.  His uncle is like him and can see the dead.  He tries to stop the witch from raising the dead but then he finds out that things aren’t quite what they seem.  In the ends he saves the day, but not in the way that previous people had stopped the witch, like his Uncle.

Since there is only voice acting in this film I’ll focus more on the direction and the visuals of this film.  Like I said, the visuals of the film are quite good, they border a bit on Burton-esque, which when you have the paranormal in animation, you are probably going to see similar visuals.  They do a good job of creating the world, and creating a large variety of faces and body types.  I will say that the whole direction of the film was fairly good.  It tried to walk a line, I’d say, between Pixar and Tim Burton, and it doesn’t quite hit the mark.  They could have made it slightly darker in some ways, or at least put it closer to Corpse Bride, and it probably would have worked better.

This was a film that I was hoping for more out of, it isn’t a bad movie by any means, but it seemed lacking, which is a shame as it had a lot of potential, and the trailer was better.  It had a few moments, and some characters that were fun, but when it came down to it, it was just too safe and too predictable, and the main character, Norman, wasn’t that strong a character, most of the side characters were more interesting.

Critical Grade: B-

Entertainment Grade: B-

Overall Grade: B-


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