Norman isn’t like any other kid…..he can talk to the dead. Of course being different than the other kids he is picked on, made fun of and is just an outcast. I think nearly every one of us can relate to Norman in one way or another. I remember being picked on and feeling like an outcast…..I know there are times when my kids come home and feel the same way.
Norman is different. He doesn’t try to hide who he is or change who he is to fit in. Even if he doesn’t understand why he can talk to the dead, he soon finds there is a reason and he has a purpose. Even being a child, he has to figure out a way to save his town from the zombies and witch. Even when others want to give up, Norman realizes his gift can save everyone. He sticks to it and refuses to back down.
From Focus Features and LAIKA, the companies behind the Academy Award-nominated animated feature Coraline, comes the comedy thriller ParaNorman. Following Coraline, ParaNorman is the second stop-motion animated feature to be made at LAIKA in 3D, unifying the two stunning art forms to tell an all-new frightfully funny, magically emotional, and hilariously spooky story.
ParaNorman is set in the town of Blithe Hollow, whose locals profit from mining the town’s history as the site, 300 years ago, of a famous witch hunt. 11-year-old Norman Babcock (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee of Let Me In and The Road) spends much of his days appreciating the finer points of scary movies and studying ghost lore. In fact, Norman is gifted with the ability to see and speak with the dead, such as his beloved grandmother (Elaine Stritch). Most days, he prefers their company to that of his flustered father (Jeff Garlin), spacey mother (Leslie Mann), and deeply superficial older sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick). At middle school, Norman dodges bullying Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), confides in the impressionable Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), and tries to tune out his blowhard teacher Mrs. Henscher (Alex Borstein).
Norman is unexpectedly contacted by his odd uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman), who floors him with the revelation that a centuries-old witch’s curse is real and is about to come true, and that only Norman will be able to stop it from going into overdrive and harming the townspeople. Once a septet of zombies – led by The Judge (Bernard Hill) – suddenly rises from their graves, Norman finds himself caught in a wild race against time alongside Courtney, Alvin, Neil, and Neil’s musclebound older brother Mitch (Casey Affleck) as Sheriff Hooper (Tempestt Bledsoe) chases them all. Worse, the town is up in arms and taking up arms.
Norman bravely summons up all that makes a hero – courage and compassion – as he finds his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.
I think we can all learn something from Norman. He is brave and stands up for what he believes in. I took my 6 year old with me to go see the movie. Although there were several parts that scared him, he really liked the movie and was still talking about it the following day. That’s always a good sign. I think all of my kids, from 6 years to 11 years would really enjoy the movie. It has a little humor mixed into the semi-scary stuff, the perfect mixture to keep everyone laughing and on their toes.
ParaNorman is in theaters now!