There had to be at least three of you who saw the title “ParaNorman” and instantly wanted nothing to do with this movie. I don’t blame you; I was the exact same way. But luckily I have terrible impulse control (ask those prostitutes I ki…bought dinner for), so I checked out anyway. Crisis averted people because ParaNorman, based on the teaser alone, looks pretty freakin’ cool. Check it out below or over at Yahoo! Movies where it initially premiered.
The official synopsis goes a little something like this:
In the comedy thriller, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman, who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, moronic grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.
ParaNorman sold me on all sorts of fronts: first off the song used in the teaser was perfect and made it feel like a bigger deal than most animated movies (hard to explain why but here we are). Second, the art direction is beautiful and the stop motion animation looks really crisp and interesting. One can even invite comparisons to Coraline if they felt like it (I don’t, but you can). And third, ParaNorman looks like a movie that will scare the crap out of little kids and so few animated movies have the balls to do that nowadays. The last one seems mean, but I have a point to it: it will challenge its audience rather than spoonfeed them. But that’s just the vibe I get from the teaser; a full length trailer could crumble that into pieces and replace the cool song in this with U2 or 30 Second to Mars. I shudder at the thought.
ParaNorman stars Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck, John Goodman, and a host of others and will go wide August 17, 2012 in both 2D and 3D (calm down). Maybe the title will grow on me by then.