orman is a good-looking kid, but spend too much time with him and you’ll probably end up feeling depressed.
Though this movie’s gorgeous stop-motion animation is the most dominant part of “ParaNorman,” there’s also a deep undercurrent of melancholy that will probably affect the adults in the audience even more than it does the kids.
While it’s true that the same melancholy can be found in some of the best children’s fiction, the movie doesn’t have enough magic or hope in it to keep the whole thing balanced.
One thing the movie does have is Laika Studios’ incredible stop-motion animation. The studio figured out how to use 3D printers to give the characters even more expressions, and everything flows so smoothly it’s hard to remember that each and every one of the characters is a figure that had to be moved by hand.
The art style had an offbeat tone all its own, and while some of the more stylized elements were a little distracting at first, it helped create the sense that this was an entirely new world.
Unfortunately, that world wasn’t as much fun as I’d hoped. The most obvious source of comparison for “ParaNorman” is “Coraline,” the 2009 Neil Gaiman-inspired movie that was Laika’s first venture into feature films.
Though the basic structure of the two plots are similar Р a child is the only one who can save the day against a genuinely scary villain Р “Coraline” had much more of a sense of magic and adventure. We get to explore a world of wonders with Coraline, a girl with enough spunk and attitude to be able to play her own game of cat and mouse.
For more information check out the August 23 edition of Davis Clipper.