ParaNorman

"Would’ve been a quiet night, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!"

Stop-motion animation has been a part of film since nearly the beginning, starting with a toy circus coming to life in 1898’s “The Humpty Dumpty Circus.” Since then, it’s undergone many critical changes and improvements as filmmakers have experimented with what they could do with it, and in 2012, Laika released the first stop-motion animated feature film to use a 3D color printer to create the character faces. The movie, “ParaNorman,” was a comedy horror for kids and certainly seemed to find its audience while also creating quite a bit of controversy.

Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we start off our brief vacation challenge series with Chris Butler’s and Sam Bell’s horror comedy for the kids, “ParaNorman.” We talk about why Pete picked this movie and what he loves about not just this film but stop-motion animation in general. We chat about the directors behind this animated film and what sort of the criticism the film received upon its release (and still to this day!) due to the violence it depicted, the sexual situations and the fact that it has an openly gay character. We discuss not just the actors that voiced the characters – from Kodi Smit-McPhee and Tucker Albrizzi to Anna Kendrick and Casey Affleck – but also Heidi Smith who designed the characters and the animators who brought them to life. We look at Butler’s screenplay and chat about why it’s such a strong script. And we marvel at the cinematography, production design, rigging, effects and everything else that goes into making a stop-motion animated film, thrilled with how well this team did at focusing and working together to create a wholly realized world.

It’s an absolute blast to watch and certainly one well worth talking about. Is it safe for the kids? We think so and argue the point but some people aren’t so sure so perhaps look into it a bit before watching with your own children. Regardless, tune in after you’ve seen it to hear our thoughts!

Film Sundries

Trailers of the Week

Andy's Trailer: Deepwater Horizon — "I don’t know if I’m really that excited about this one. The trailer gives me a good sense of the story without completely ruining the story for someone who missed the news coverage, but it still feels like so many other heroic real-life stories out there. Looks like a good renter though."

Pete's Trailer: Assassin’s Creed — "I’m a big fan of the game. But I’ve been a fan of games gone movies before. Seriously though, Fassbender? Cotillard? Irons? Brendan Gleeson? Michael Kenneth Williams? Is it possible that all these people have spontaneously decided to sell out at once? Or might this be a fair adaptation?"