Wednesday 22 August 2012

Guest Review: ParaNorman

The second stop-motion animated film from Laika, ParaNorman, is out now in several territories and is receiving very enthusiastic reviews! One of those territories is France, and friend of the blog and our resident Tintin expert, Damien, shared his review of the film with us. Check it out below!

"Saw it this morning. 

Beautiful film. Beautiful animation. I don't think stop-motion ever looked this good before. Maybe Corpse Bride came the closest, but the way the characters and sets are handled here is incredible (You can see the light through Norman's ears! I don't know how they did that).

The story: much more my cup of tea than Coraline was - I loved Coraline, but it lacked a little in plot for me. It was a wonderful film; it had a very atmospheric, creepy feeling. And an amazing score (ParaNorman doesn't have such a good score). But there was no big surprise in the story.
Here, there are more little twists and turns, and I was delighted by the way the story evolved. They weren't "OH MY GOD WHAT ARE THEY DOING?!" twists, but they gave the film a nice dynamic feeling. 

A few problems I had with ParaNorman: sometimes, the characters repeat themselves. I was saying to myself in my head "Yes, you already said that, we get it!". But it's okay. Also, I'm not saying that ParaNorman is Coraline, but I hope Laika isn't only going to do movies that are so close thematically. They're handled very differently, but you don't have to look too hard to find similarities between the two. Maybe next time, try another genre. 

All in all, ParaNorman is a great and fun movie, with a pretty adult sense of humor; but it can be moving too. Looks like 2012 will be a nice year for stop-motion. The Pirates!, this, and Frankenweenie later this year. I really hope this technique doesn't disappear, as it gives a different feeling than CG or traditional animation. 

It was opening day in France, and we were only 4 in the theater room. Sad to see this kind of thing. Just checked: ParaNorman had only the 4th biggest opening of the day, with The Expendables 2 on the first spot. And two miserables French films at #2 and #3.
This is terrible. I don't get the audience... 

But the good news is - and to end on a happy note - we have a terrific film with ParaNorman!"

Sounds promising! ParaNorman opens here in the UK on 14th September, so I'll have my review up around that time. In the meantime, thanks to Damien for contributing his great review - be sure to follow him on Twitter (@Archibald_H), particularly if you're a Tintin fan - and if you've thoughts either way on ParaNorman, let us know them!


  1. ParaNorman is definitely one of the year's best! It's grim and ghoulish but still very sweet, and as Archibald stated, moving too. A balance that you don't normally find.

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it too, Simoa. I can't wait to see it when it finally opens over here!