PG, 92 min.
Directors: Sam Fell, Chris Butler
Writer: Chris Butler
Voices: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plaase, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Hill, Jodelle Ferland, Tempestt Bledsoe, Alex Borstein, John Goodman
I don’t think I gave this movie enough credit when I wrote my theatrical review of it a little more than a year ago. I was blown away by its production design, but I didn’t have as much to say about the story. Although I liked it, I was wrong. This isn’t merely a good movie; it’s darn near great. Now that I wasn’t so distracted by the beautiful images I was seeing, I paid a little more attention to the storytelling craft. This is a wonderful story and a wonderfully witty screenplay.
It strikes me as much like the original “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” in the way it places witty observation into so much of the dialogue in every scene of the movie. But while “Cloudy” is like a pop candy dessert, “ParaNorman” has some pretty important things to say about being a kid and the misconceptions people hold about other people well into adulthood. What a joy it turns out being to see the zombies presented as the victims. It’s about time zombies had a voice of advocacy in Hollywood. And I love that the fat kid is really the coolest kid in school. Neal is just a wonderful character and the type of person we should all strive to be.