Writer: Peter Chai
Overall: 3.5 Out of 5
Cast: 3.5 Out of 5
Plot: 3.5 Out of 5
Effects: 3.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.5 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “Coraline” & “Corpse Bride”
While Pixar's and Dreamworks' domination over the animation industry with their amazingly impressive graphics continuing to reign, we tend to set our expectations higher whenever another animation studio comes out with a new piece to make a lasting impression among audiences. Laika was one of these studios that were able to create a buzz with "Coraline" back in 2009. This summer, we witness the American studio's second attempt with a 3D stop-motion animated film, "ParaNorman".
In "ParaNorman", a confusing and low-self esteemed boy named Norman has the gift of communicating with ghosts. With his weird demeanour at home and in school, nobody has ever understood the little boy's unique ability and instead treats him as a joke of the neighbourhood. One day, Norman is given a huge responsibility, which is to save the whole town from being destroyed by a mysterious witch. With faith and courage, he then braves up to face the creatures of the night and the evil witch on his own.
Before touching on the plot, let us first focus on the most important element of the movie; the stop-motion effect. You might compare the adventure with Tim Burton's puppet animated film "Corpse Bride", but the Laika animators have made a certain leap in perfecting the stop-motion effect of all the characters and any other object in the entire movie with a more intense "feel" and real textures that are able to bring us closer to reality than previously imagined.
Moreover, the quality of the cinematography is simply exceptional. The editing shots have never failed to maintain the flow of the storyline well and the purpose of the plot.
One of the exciting parts of "ParaNorman" is the zombie-chasing scenes on the road. Under the chaotic situation following Norman and his companions' thrilling escape from the demons in a van, some unexpected crazy spooky jokes during the interaction between the humans and the zombies is awesome, even though the scene is based in the tiny space of a vehicle.
Regardless of age, "ParaNorman" is not just kid-friendly, but it is a family-themed spook story that is worth the watch for the young and old alike!
Cinema Online, 14 August 2012