Bring home ‘ParaNorman’

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

Just in time for Halloween viewing (and year round fun), the animated film ParaNorman is now available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. From the same company that brought us Coraline, The Boxtrolls, and Kubu and the Two Strings, LAIKA Studios and Shout! Factory, this edition of ParaNorman includes some fun additional features that will interest viewers of all ages.

Norman is a nice little boy but has one problem, or it could be considered a gift. He sees dead people. He is always talking to them and for that reason he is considered a freak by his classmates and even by his family. This little kid does not have any friends but Neil, an overweight classmate, really wants to be his buddy. After all, both of them are bullied in school so why not join forces?

Norman is a boy that garners the sympathy of viewers. He is simply minding his own business, not hurting anyone, and he has good intentions. However his “gift” of communicating with the dead causes problems for him.

They live in a town that is “cursed.” The story goes that a witch cursed the town and the residents. But one day Norman is instructed by a ghost to save the people from the upcoming rise of zombies. That’s a big task for one little boy. But Norman doesn’t shy away from his “duty.”

When the town is in danger, Norman steps up and even though he is meek, he drums up the courage to do what he must.

This stop-motion animation is amazing and ParaNorman is the best example of how this technique, combined with some CGI, can be an amazing way of creating a film. It is seamless in its visuals and the story is delightful for the entire family.

There is a full-length storyboard version of the film included in the bonus features. There is also a look at how the characters were created, from the inside out. They used metal armatures and ball and socket joints to create the puppets. They even had a technique to make their breathing look realistic. Considering the characters are puppets, this was a great step forward for the filmmakers. Each character puppet had to be posed frame by frame. CGI was used to help enhance the scope of the landscape. And there is a big car chase scene that rivals any live-action film. Well almost any.

ParaNorman is sure to be a family favorite for Halloween time and year round. It is rated PG for scary action and images, thematic elements, and some rude humor and language.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for 30 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club and the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.