Jeri Jacquin, Movie Maven
Opening in theatres this Friday from director/writer Chris Butler, Sam Fell and Universal Pictures comes the story of a boy with a special gift named PARANORMAN.
This film tells the story of Norman Babcock (Kodi-Smit McPhee), a young boy who is out of sorts with the town he lives in. His parents don’t understand, sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick) isn’t exactly sisterly, and friends are scarce. He also has his hands full with class bully Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
The reason for this is because Norman can see and speak to people who have died, which makes him the brunt of all jokes. That is until Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) appears to Norman explaining that he must read the story to the town witch (Jodelle Ferland) or else horrible things will happen.
Now the mystery begins as he tries to figure out the riddle of the story and what it is that the town witch truly wants. Norman isn’t alone now as new friend Neil (Tucker Albrizzi) accepts everything about him and even finds it totally cool that Norman is different.
There isn’t much time for Norman and his new gang to stop the town from going zombie crazy, find the book and end the mystery of the witch!
FINAL WORD: McPhee doing the voice of Norman really does make the character. He sees absolutely nothing wrong with seeing and talking to dead people, but it would be nice if the living were a little more understanding. Kendrick as Courtney is full on teen big sister.
Mintz-Plasse as Alvin is the bully who, in fact, is just as misunderstood as Norman – he’s just bigger and uses it to his advantage. Goodman, although a short role, is a funny one as Norman’s uncle.
Albrizzi is just adorable as Neil. He is the little pudgy boy who totally understands what it is like for Norman to be the object of other’s ridicule. He is so happy to be friends with Norman, its cute!
The town founders as zombies are really funny and even more misunderstood.
Other cast include: Leslie Mann as Sandra Babcock, Jeff Garlin as Peter Babcock, Elaine Stritch as Grandma, Bernard Hill as The Judge, Tempest Bledsoe as the Sherriff, Alex Borstein as Mrs. Henscher, Hannah Noyes as Salma and Casey Affleck as Mitch
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give PARANORMAN three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. The film is in 3D and I have to say it doesn’t really need to be. The story is fun, the animation is very good and there are some very sweet moments. That being said this isn’t for small children. There are scenes that the smaller kids in the audience shied away from so know that before taking small children.
The film seems to be geared more toward teenagers to adults filled with that kind of joking and humor. I actually would have loved seeing this around Halloween with its zombies, ghosts, and cemetery theme!
In the end – you don’t become a hero by being normal!