ParaNormaN is a 2012 3D stop-motion animated horror film produced by Laika, distributed by Focus Features. It was the first stop-motion film to use a 3D colour printer to create character faces, and only the second stop motion film to be shot in 3D.
Casey Affleck, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Bernard Hill, Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jodelle Ferland, Elaine Stritch, and Tucker Albrizzi.
In the small New England town of Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts, a boy named Norman Babcock is able to speak with the dead, including his late grandmother and various ghosts in town. Unfortunately, almost no one among the living believes his ability is genuine and he is ostracised by his family while being ridiculed and bullied by most of his peers for his seemingly strange abilities.
However, Norman makes a friend with Neil Downe, an eccentric fat boy who is bullied himself and finds Norman’s earnest admission as a medium an intriguing part of a kindred spirit. During rehearsal of a school play commemorating the town’s witch execution of 300 years ago, Norman has a harrowing vision of the town’s past and being pursued as a witch by the town’s citizenry.
Afterward, the boys are confronted by Norman’s estranged and seemingly deranged Uncle, Mr. Prenderghast, who tells his nephew that vision is a sign that he soon must take up his regular ritual to protect the town…
“Far more than Norman’s adventure, which takes him from home to a cemetery and deep into his town’s history, what pulls you in, quickening your pulse and widening your eyes, are the myriad visual enchantments — from the rich, nubby tactility of his clothes to the skull-and-bones adorning his bedroom wallpaper'”. New York Times
“… the film zips between melancholy and gross-out slapstick, trying to mine tragedy from Norman’s isolation one moment, and playing it for amusement in the next. Only the ending sequence, which dives headlong into horror, picks an idea and a tone and sticks with it. The results are breathtakingly chilling… ” A.V. Club
“Ingenious and wonderfully detailed, though better in its imaginative horror than its slightly too-broad comic knockabout. Its not quite on the level of Coraline, but its proper summer fun with some dark delights.” Kim Newman, Empire
“Admittedly, the first half of ParaNorman is much stronger than the latter half. Even clocking in at an efficient 93 minutes the film feels bloated – most notably in the slow transition between the second and third acts. Somewhere near the 2/3 mark, significant momentum is lost, as characters literally just hang around one locale, waiting for the inevitable climax to occur.” ScreenRant