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:: ParaNorman

ParaNorman is a beautifully shot, 3D stop-motion animated adventure horror film that’s as funny as it is clever for both adults and kids alike (always a bonus when that happens). Set in the small New England town of Blithe Hollow, Norman has a rare gift, he is able to speak with the dead, including his late grandmother. Unfortunately, almost no one among the living believes him. He is ridiculed and bullied by most kids at school and completely misunderstood by his family. He is befriended by Neil, another bullied kid at school who believes Norman. Neil also steals the show with many great lines and visual gags. The Jason hockey mask moment is hilarious.

It’s during rehearsal of a school play commemorating the town's witch execution of 300 years ago, however, that Norman has a vision of the town's past and being pursued as a witch by the town's citizens. He freaks out. But it’s not until he is confronted by his estranged and deranged Uncle, Mr. Prenderghast (voiced by John Goodman), who tells his nephew that vision is a sign that he soon must take up his regular ritual to protect the town. And it’s from here the film really begins some wonderful action sequences and animation as he has to take on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse, that you know you are in for a treat.

It all climaxes with a wonderfully well constructed and shot battle scene against a former child prodigy and witch, who was killed over 300 years ago. Throughout though, this film has everything you could ever ask for. humour, originality, action, great dialogue and so much more. With plenty of visual gags and jokes throughout, and some simply stunning sets, cinematography and colour design, added to a great story, ParaNorman is a trully spectacular film and will have you smiling, laughing and remembering it long after you’ve left the cinema. It also wipes the floor with Pixar’s recently released, Brave, as it’s a real feast for the senses. As the film’s tagline says, ‘You don't become a hero by being normal.’ And you don’t make a great, original and visually stunning film by sticking to normal procedures. ParaNorman is a win in anyone’s book. Kids and adults alike will find plenty to love about it. In short - ParaNorman is the best film I've seen all year. Great story, very funny and visually stunning!