Norman is not your average little boy and it has nothing to do with his tombstone alarm clock, or the zombie face he makes while brushing his teeth. But it has everything to do with the fact that he can see and communicate with dead people.
That’s the ambitious premise behind “ParaNorman” an increasingly winning looking animated, 3D film coming from Laika, the Portland, Oregon-based animation studio who delivered the well received “Coraline” back in 2009. Based on an original concept by writer/co-director Chris Butler, who has worked as a story artist and sequence director for a number of films including “Coraline” and “The Corpse Bride,” the film centers on Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) whose unique talent will come in handy when he’s tasked with saving his town from a variety of supernatural monstrosities. Rounding out the impressive voice cast is Casey Affleck, John Goodman, Jeff Garlin, Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Elaine Stritch and as much as those stars are great, it’s the concept here that’s so attractive.
It’s very rare for material aimed at kids to have any kind of edge, but this one not only deals with the dead, it goes all the way with skulls coming off bodies and a moody, more mature than usual atmosphere that promises a movie that will actually put a genuine thrill both in younger and older audiences alike. So far, so good with “ParaNorman” and we’re eager to see more. It opens September 14, 2012 — watch below.