Live fast die young
He will do anything for his daughter
"ParaNorman" is one of the best and most surprising animations of 2012. It is also a fantastic antidote for polite and safe Pixar productions. Please do not misunderstand me; I love the "Incredibles", "Toy Story" or "Odlot" and I'm always looking forward to the next work of the famous label. However, if you would like to take a break from talking toys, retired superheroes and cooking rats and learn the dark story of a girl named Aggie, watch "ParaNorman". Really worth. Time-lapse film was shot by Laika studio. It tells the story of a young boy, Norman Babcock, living with his parents and sister in Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts. Norman does not have an easy life - from birth he sees the ghosts of deceased people with whom he can talk. However, no one believes him, and his peers, except for Neil, the only real friend, consider him a freak. One day, the boy begins to haunt strange visions related to the mysterious curse. Soon scary creatures appear in the town - zombies. Norman is horrified to realize that because of his gift he is the only person who can send the dead back to the grave.
As you can see the story uses elements well known to enthusiasts of the comedy with the thrill. We have a recluse with extraordinary abilities, an old curse returning every year, and a bunch of zombies terrorizing a small town. In addition, there is a model, selected "from the case" fame of the title hero: a rebellious teenager, an obese boy with complexes, a clumsy dribbler and a school bully.
So it's fun, sometimes grotesque but still very schematic ... for the first 40 minutes. When we start to think that we know how it will end, a twist follows, followed by a path that few people would predict. I was certainly surprised and I admit that the screenwriter misled me astray. The original atmosphere brings to mind "Coraline and a mysterious door" (also realized in the studio Laika) and "Straszny dom". Artists reasonably juggle quotes from horror classics. There are not many of them here, but relax - adults will have fun no less than their children (I dare say that even more!).
After the premiere there were voices that "ParaNorman" is not suitable for children. It's not true. Maybe a dozen or so or several dozen years ago it would be a questionable issue, but nowadays the animation of Chris Butler and Sam Fell should not frighten the underage viewer more than the evening news block. Macabreres and horror, although in a larger quantity than usual in productions without age restrictions, is still quite conventional and does not even reach the level of a "mature" thriller even for a moment. Nevertheless, the scenario touches on quite serious problems such as death or redemption.
The right insights about human nature are noteworthy. The inhabitants of Blithe Hollow, in fear of the living dead, create confusion and panic without thinking, and as a result begin to resemble zombies themselves. The real dead, however, perversely turn out not to be as bad as one might think by their appearance. Wonderful, stop-motion animation reminds that in the era of the most modern digital technologies there are still people who put hundreds of hours of work and a real passion to breathe life into plastic dolls and miniature stage designs. Stylish designs of caricatured characters delight the eye with various details: from the protruding hair of Norman to the laces of Courtney sneakers, and the lack of 100% smooth movements only adds to their charm.
Moreover, visual imperfection has been intentionally entered into the form of a film. Lopsided buildings and distorted objects fit neatly into the horror-comedy style. The computer effects were probably only used in the spectacular finale, where they serve as a tool to better reflect the director's vision. In turn, the spirit of the original is successfully reflected in Polish dubbing.
Next to experienced actors (Joanna Węgrzynowska and Grzegorz Pawlak as the Babcock state) there were young, but no less talented: Franciszek Dziduch (Norman), Kacper Cybiński (Neil) and Justyna Bojczuk (Courtney). Their voices sound like they should and never hit the false tones. It is hard to believe that such a class picture has only been awarded an Oscar nomination for the best animated film. The statuette was awarded to the exceptionally average "Merida brave". The Academy gave bodies again. Maybe its members did not like the character of Mitch - probably the first gay in the history of family animations (it's high time!). Or maybe you just did your routine for rewarding subsequent Pixar works? We don't know that anymore. One thing is certain: "ParaNorman" is a great cinema for the whole family, which I recommend to everyone, regardless of age.