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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Wednesday June 12th 2024


ParaNorman (2012)


Focus Features. Animation

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee voice of Norman Babcock), Tucker Albrizzi (voice of Neil), Anna Kendrick (voice of Courtney), Casey Affleck (voice of Mitch), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (voice of Alvin), Leslie Mann (voice of Sandra Babcock), Jeff Garlin (voice of Perry Babcock), Elaine Stritch (voice of Grandma), Bernard Hill (voice of the Judge), Jodelle Ferland (voice of Aggie), Tempestt Bledsoe) (voice of Sheriff Hooper), Alex Borstein (voice of Mrs. Henscher) and John Goodman (voice of Mr. Prenderghast). (PG) Running time: 92 minutes. Directors: Sam Fell and Chris Butler. 

Great looking animation in 3D (I saw “Para Norman “in 2D) and if you didn”'t know is not by Tim Burton. (Tim Burton is coming out with his own animation “Frankenweenie” this fall.) Sam Fell and Chris Butler could have easilyentitled their animation “A Boy and his Ghouls”, especially when Norman, 11, is surrounded by parents, particularly his dad (Jeff Garlin) believe he”'s imaging things by seeing and talk to his deceased grandmother sitting on the sofa watching television with him. Norman (Kodi Smit McGee) curious little boy faces the taunts and ridicule from bullies and chewed out by teachers at school for his idiosyncratic beliefs about seeing ghosts in the town somewhere in New England.

“Para Norman” reminds me so much of Steve Box and Nick Parks”'s par excellence 2005 animation “Wallace & Gromit and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”, with quirky, innocuous characters trying to solve an ominous mystery(ies) in order to save the townspeople from harm.

Dad, mom (Leslie Mann),older sister, Courtney (Anna Kendrick),dressed in blush pink, all think Norman is a boy with an overactive imagination. Norman has discovered a perilous mystery from the town”'s conviction and burning of a young girl accused of being a witch 300 years of age.

Norman and friend Neil (Tucker Albrizz) investigate a graveyard where allegedly the “witch” and her accused are buried but Norman unintentionally stirs up several zombies from the graves. Shortly, Norman, Courtney, Neil, Neil”'s bodybuilder brother Mitch(Casey Affleck) and the school bully Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) set out to thwart the witch”'s curse before it”'s too late for the town.

“Para Norman” pays attention to details to its credit as well as the hilarious and serious matters. “Para Norman” is not just full of inane gags, it”'s a good movie one can enjoy with the kids.

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