Tim Burton eat your heart out. This is ParaNorman!
ParaNorman follows, well, Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee), an eleven-year old boy growing up in a Salem-like town, born with the mysterious ability to talk to ghosts and is thought of as a freak because of it. His mother (Leslie Mann) tries to be supportive while his father (Jeff Garlin) is just embarrassed. However, he learns from a ghost named Prenderghast (John Goodman) that he is the only one who can stop a witch (Jodelle Ferland) from resurrecting the town's founders as zombies and attacking the town. Teaming up with fellow outcast Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), his sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick), Neil's jock brother Mitch (Casey Affleck) and school bully Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Norman goes to stop the witch and save the town.
And that's just the animation. Yes, it's fantastic. And yes, the movie is hilarious. I seriously laughed out loud in this film more than in other comedies films I've seen recently. But what really makes this movies is the story and characters. The characters of ParaNorman are the most likable characters since The Avengers. People you want to hang out with, even without the zombie problem. They are all well-developed and are given enough cool moments to make everyone interesting.
And the story. If ParaNorman doesn't make you look at zombies in a new light than you didn't get ParaNorman. For a story that could have been as simple as "Zombie's attack and they fight them", the film really does throw quite a few curve balls at you and keeps you guessing until the very end. Which does bring me to my one problem with this movie. I don't know if this is a pacing problem or something else, but the movie does not feel very long at all. It's enough to tell the great story, but I did feel like I was walking out of the theater within a hour, not an hour and a half.
|Pictured: this best cast of characters|
in any animated movie this year.