Even as a child I did not care for animation, but with a few recent films my conversion has been accelerating: “Wall -E” is one of my favorite movies of all time; and earlier this summer “Brave” struck and ignited my imagination: I decided with little trepidation to see “ParaNorman”. “Norman” , reminiscent of “The Sixth Sense” sees dead people; some kind, some horrific; his conversations with the ghost of his grandmother are charming and compelling. 3-D adds glamour, glory, depth to this visual extravaganza.
Norman is a misunderstood outcast, a loner, content with the companionship of his transparent acquaintances; he is ten-years-old and his mission is to save the town from a witch of Medea proportions and several wretched zombies.
“ParaNorman” is a morality tale, the ultimate lesson in “looks can be deceiving”; it champions the underdog, the weird, the shunned; frees the viewer from the shackles of preconceived perceptions of what is “normal”, acceptable, comfortable. For those of us of a certain age the message is bludgeoning, but the last scene and the youthful audience’s response: cheering, clapping, gleefully exiting was heartwarming, inspirational.