‘ParaNorman’: Review

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I don’t know that I have much to say about ParaNorman, good or bad, but I’m trying this new thing where I write at least something about every movie I see, so let’s do this. Basically, I’ve wanted to see ParaNorman ever since I saw that damn cute and clever title. I mean, do you guys get it? Kinda like paranormal, but the main character’s name is Norman, so they combine it and make it super smart and catchy. I’m coming off sarcastic, but it really is an amazing title for a film, hell, it did it’s job by getting me to see it.

I really don’t like animation films at all, I don’t have a specific reason why, they’re usually all of pretty high quality these days, especially with Pixar’s firm grip on the steering wheel (not that this was a Pixar movie…), but they’re just not my bag. Tellingly, I could really care less about the quality, type or style of animation, but I must say the look of the movie really grabbed me. It was done using stop-motion techniques, but was then colourized with 3D printers, or something like that, I don’t know, I’m just regurgitating what the internet told me. It really gave it a slick look and sheen that often made it not even look like stop-motion, providing some fluid moves and crispness, unlike the chunkiness that traditional stop-motion delivered.

Let’s attempt to talk about the plot of a kids movie, one of which they have about three to choose from. Generally, having a weird or loner kid team up with some newly found friends and investigate or duke it out against someone or thing is usually a fine enough framework. I mean it’s nothing great, but flesh it out with the right things, add some flair, and a decent script and you have yourselves a successful movie. And ParaNorman does that, it’s an average movie, you’ve seen this kids movie before, but it does everything it needs to quite fine, gets in and gets out, learn a message or two and you’re good.

I guess also most notable of this, especially in a children’s movie is that the older brother cool guy jock dude of Norman turns out to be gay, something you don’t really see in these types of movies. It’s cool and all, but a bit misleading. You only find out he’s gay in the last 5 minutes or so, and the reveal is used as a punchline to a joke when he replies to the girl that’s been fawning over him the whole movie. So, really no great commentary is being shared, but rather a cheap joke is exploited in the easiest way possible.

So, yeah, this is a kids movie that exists. I guess me calling it a kids movie is pretty dumb since I’m not one and I watched it. A FAMILY movie, how about that. I certainly don’t regret watching it nor did I gain anything that I hadn’t seen 100 times in a bunch of other similar movies. But, hey, that’s current animated movies for you.

7/10

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