There are few family films as bold and daring as ParaNorman. Don’t let that shitty title fool you: this is the kind of animation we all thought Pixar would be pumping out on a regular basis before they sold out with Cars. ParaNorman is a smart, progressive little movie that everyone should see, but particularly families. ParaNorman is hell bent on prompting more than a couple conversations, some that parents may not be ready to have, and that’s why I love this movie.
I also love ParaNorman because it so clearly loves horror. There are countless nods to Romero, Carpenter, and Raimi throughout the film. Thankfully this isn’t Rango, a movie about movies, but rather a celebration of the horror genre filtered through an exploration of how individuals react to the things that scare them, and how those individuals affect a group. There are no soft lessons here, and ParaNorman pulls no punches and refuses to round some very sharp edges.
The titular Norman is wonderfully empathetic, supported by an excellent cast that’s smartly stylized and intelligently voiced. That’s always half the battle when it comes to animated features, and ParaNorman delivers the goods in spades. The other half of the battle is a smart story, and ParaNorman has got that too. It’s the most progressive and politically active film since The Incredibles, and just as entertaining to boot.
ParaNorman is the best animated film of the year, and one of the most unique animated features to come along in a long time. This is one that’s not to be missed.
ParaNorman is now available on BluRay and DVD. You can order yourself a copy right here.