Consider 2012 the year of stop animated films, with three of the five nominations for Best Animated Feature going to that genre of animation. With overlapping techniques and themes, including the horror genre in both “ParaNorman” and “Frankenweenie”, and the strong influence of the subject of science in both the “Frankenweenie” and “The Pirates! Band Of Misfits”, it might be a tough call this year.
Taking a closer look at the critics awards of the year, the numbers consistently came up “ParaNorman” and “Frankenweenie”, which gives me a slight inclination it will come down to the two of them, despite my inability to ever count out Pixar’s “Brave”. With that in mind, over “Frankenweenie”, I feel that “ParaNorman” is the stronger film, appealing to more audiences, resembling the ideas of other successful animated films like Pixar’s “Up”, and not only using 3D for the second ever in the claymation genre (the first being “Frankenweenie”) but using 3D printing to make all 8,000 of Norman’s faces.
Ultimately, I feel “Brave” may pull off the eventual upset, being my favorite to win, but personal preference aside, if “Brave” doesn’t squeak in for the win, “ParaNorman” will likely be there to sweep up the award.
As visually evocative as it is ambitious, “ParaNorman” has a likeable enough protagonist to hold anyone’s attention, while trudging through a “Monster House”-like horror story. With far too many lessons sown in, by the end of the film, you’re basically being slapped with morals. Also, “ParaNorman” fails to grasp a distinct genre, floating between appropriate for kids and not.
// Produced by Travis Knight & Arianne Sutner // Directed by Sam Fell & Chris Butler //
// Dated Viewed: Saturday, January 12th, 2013 // DVD // 36 films – 44 days //