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ParaNorman: Surprises all around

ParaNorman is the story of Norman, a young misunderstood boy who talks to the dead and is an outcast among his peers. He embarks on an adventure that  requires him  to face ghosts, zombies  and grown-ups to save his town from a century-old curse.  In the end, he proves that sometimes being different is the only way to save your town from the paranormal.

ParaNorman is fantastic. With a handful of topnotch actors lending their voices, a great story and memorable characters, this is one movie you should not miss.

 However, there are some things that don’t work . Some of the jokes fall flat and one of the bigger surprises at the end seems forced simply because it’s never mentioned or even hinted at. Everything else is wonderful.

The cast does a great job of bringing the characters to life. The eccentric friend, voiced by Tucker Albrizzi, does a great job despite being relatively unknown. Casey Affleck, John Goodman and Anna Kendrick also lend their talents.

The focus of the plot is forgiveness and redemption from past mistakes. I was surprised to see these kinds of ideas in a movie targeted towards kids. Most of the jokes in the movie are a nice mix of nods to classic horror movies and even some jabs at relevant issues. A police officer says, “Stop firing at civilians, that’s for the police to do!”

The animation is so well done in this movie, especially towards the end. At times I actually forgot that I was watching a movie that was made using clay. This is one movie you should not miss. It’s funny, charming and worth every penny. 

4/5 stars

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