30 Days of Oscar: Day 2 - ParaNorman

Movie: ParaNorman
Year: 2013
Nominations: Best Animated Feature
Wins/Snubs: While I really liked this, there's not a chance it will win.  With Brave and Wreck-It Ralph in the race, and far superior, ParaNorman will be an also-ran. 

I actually saw this just before the nominations were announced, so I don't think of it as a cheat.  It was recommended to me by Ryan, and he was right, though I usually don't care for clay-mation. Norman, our hero, can speak with ghosts (the dead), which is explained pretty quickly, but isn't all that obvious during the opening scenes.  This means he's weird - his family doesn't understand him, and he's bullied at school.  It doesn't help matters that his uncle is also really weird (he too can speak to ghosts), and when Norman has a vision, his uncle (John Goodman) says that someday it will be Norman's responsibility to save the town.  As the  movie unfolds we see how and why - including zombies and ghost witches and a past wrong that gets to be corrected.  Thankfully, Norman is a pretty awesome hero - he's the smart, sassy, nerd who can make friends, and rally people together.  The story is more complicated (and a little too fantastical) to try to describe much here, but know that kids over about 6, and almost any teens or adults will probably like this movie. 
With Disney/Pixar in the race with Brave, Disney with Wreck-It Ralph, Disney and Tim Burton with Frankenweenie (which I have yet to see), and the Wallace and Gromit company with The Pirates! Band of Misfits, it almost seems that ParaNorman is the underdog in this contest.  With only Coraline under the company's belt, they do seem to be the smallest group.  For that reason, and the fact that the movie is really good, I would almost be willing to root for ParaNorman to win, but alas, I liked Wreck-It Ralph better.


  1. I've heard this described as the sort of story Pixar could have made but tossed away, and I think that's rather true.

    It has a lot of heart, it has a surprising amount of darkness, and features a *really* distinct look in a time where a lot of CGI animated films are beginning to look like each other.

    Heck - here's a film that makes the zombies a sympathetic group of characters! We're waist-deep into the zombie revival and I don't can't think of many other instances where I've seen that.

    This might be the most underrated film of 2012. Great inclusion!

  2. Definitely an undercooked gem. I'm rarely a fan of claymation and they really did a great job with this.


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