Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ParaNorman (Chris Butler and Sam Fell, 2012) Review

You know, considering that the Oscars are commencing this Sunday, I thought it would be a good idea to see the competition for best animated film. Frankenweenie isn't on DVD yet so I decided to take a look at the other one I haven't reviewed: ParaNorman. Considering it's from the same makers as Coraline, I had high hopes for this film. Does it live up or is it a disappointment? Let's find out.

Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a strange boy who has the ability to see and talk to ghosts. He shares this gift with another man named Mr. Prenderghast (John Goodman) who tells Norman that once a year, it is his Prenderghast's duty to read a book to a witch's burial sight to stop her curse for another year. When Mr. Prenderghast suddenly dies, Norman is left to read to the book. However, local bully Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) causes Norman to mess up and the curse is unleashed. Now Norman must team up with his friend Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), his sister Courtney, Alvin and Neil's brother Mitch (Casey Affleck) to fight off the un-dead.

First things first, this is a VERY slow film. I don#t really see how it could be advertised for kids as their attention span probably couldn't handle it. Half of the film could probably be done in about half an hour in a normal film. It tried to stretch things out. This is good and bad. It's good because it helps give characters time to develop and also allows things to go in depth however this also means that some scenes drag out for way too long. Another bad thing is that there's too much focus on comedy. Coraline was good because it was generally terrifying. This...is not. Does this destroy this film? Not really, it's just a little disappointing.

It's not all bad. The stop motion has definitely improved from Coraline and even looks CGI at times. I also like how it has a unique character style. It looks very nice and is well animated. Another thing is, while it's by no means original, the plot is a nice refreshing change to other zombie films (without giving too much away, it isn't strictly a zombie film...which is awesome). The voice work is also pretty good and has some pretty likeable characters.

All in all, ParaNorman was a disappointment. I wish it hits the heights that Coraline hit, especially in the horror department. Sure, it's not bad but it certainlly isn't the best animated film of the year. Do I think it deserves the Oscar nomination? Eh..not..really? There is better out there (look at my Top 10 Films of 2012) but I'm glad that I saw it once but I probably won't see it again.

A disappointment but still enjoyable. It has some good things but the slow narrative and lack of horror makes me want to watch Coraline instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment