Not really a fan of “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Corpse Bride” 0r “Coraline,” I didn’t have much hope for the newest of the genre, “Paranorman.” But even after a short five minutes, the movie was able to blow those other titles out of the water. The movie was about an 11-year-old boy, Norman, (Kodi Smit-Mcphee, “Let Me In”) who can see ghosts and was ridiculed for it.
But soon, he was told by a crazy hobo (John Goodman) he must use his power to save his town. Simple, but the movie was meticulously and inventively done. It stood on its own as a truly unique work. It was appropriately scary and creepy, while still being funny and adding a new twist on the characters who have become almost standard in any genre.
The humor reminded me of “The Simpsons,” which turned avoided social conventions and behaviors into normality for the townsfolk. This was done by a stellar voice cast who featured Casey Affleck, Jeff Garlin, Leslie Mann and Anna Kendrick.
On top of all that was a truly relevant story of how people treat one another and how that behavior can come back to haunt us if not realized. “Paranorman” put new twists on all conventions and must be unsuitable for anyone under 4, but it still worked on many levels for many ages to enjoy and proved itself as the best animated movie of the year so far and the best in its category.