ParaNorman is a 2012 American 3D stop-motion animated horror comedy film[ produced by Laika, distributed by Focus Features and was released on August 17, 2012. It stars the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jodelle Ferland, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Hill, Tempestt Bledsoe, Alex Borstein and John Goodman. It is the first stop-motion film to use a 3D color printer to create character faces and only the second to be shot in 3D.
The film received a largely positive critical response, while it was a modest box office success, earning $107 million against its budget of $60 million. The film received nominations for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film.
In the small town of Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts, Norman Babcock is an 11-year-old boy who speaks with the dead, including his late grandmother and various ghosts in town. Almost no one believes him and he is isolated emotionally from his family while being ridiculed by his peers. His friend, Neil Downe , is an overweight boy who is bullied himself and finds Norman a kindred spirit. During rehearsal of a school play commemorating the town's witch execution of three centuries ago, Norman has a vision of the town's past and being pursued as a witch by the town's citizenry. Afterward, the boys are confronted by his estranged and seemingly deranged uncle Mr. Prenderghast who tells his nephew that he soon must take up his regular ritual to protect the town. Soon after this encounter, Prenderghast dies from a sudden stroke. During the official performance of the school play Norman has another vision, creating a public spectacle of himself which leads to his father grounding him. His mother tells him that his father's stern manner is because he is afraid for him. The next day, Norman sees Prenderghast's spirit who tells him that the ritual must be performed with a certain book before sundown that day. Norman is at first reluctant to go because he is scared but his grandmother tells him it is all right to be scared as long as he does not let it change who he is. Norman sets off to retrieve the book from Prenderghast's house (having to take it from his corpse).
He then goes to the graves of the five men and two women who were cursed by the witch they condemned, but finds the book is merely a series of fairy tales. Alvin , a school bully, interferes with the reading until after sundown. A ghostly storm resembling the witch appears in the air while the cursed dead zombies arise, chases and pursue the boys along with Norman's sister, Courtney and Neil's older brother, Mitch in the van into town, but Norman contacts classmate Salma (who tells them to access the Town Hall's archives for the location of the witch's unmarked grave) for help. As the kids make their way to the Town Hall, the zombies are attacked by the citizenry. During the riot, they break into the archives but cannot find the information they need. As the mob moves to attack Town Hall, the witch storm appears and Norman climbs the Hall's tower to read the book, but the witch strikes it with lightning and causes him to fall back down into the archives. Unconscious, Norman has a dream where he learns that the witch was Agatha Prenderghast a little girl of his age who was also a medium just like he really is. Norman also learns that Agatha was wrongfully convicted by the town council after they mistook her powers as witchcraft. After awakening, Norman encounters the zombies and realizes that they were the same town council who convicted Agatha. The zombies then admit that they only wanted to speak with him to ensure he would take up the ritual to minimize the harm of the mistake they made towards Agatha. Norman attempts to help the zombies slip away to have them guide him to Agatha's grave, but are cornered by the mob. Courtney confronts the crowd and convinces them to back off. Judge Hopkins (Bernard Hill) guides Norman's family to the grave in a forest. Before the grave is reached, Agatha's magical powers separates Norman from the others. Norman finds the grave and interacts with Agatha in the spirit dimension, determined to stop the cataclysmic tantrum she had been having over the years. She asks him to leave her be, but Norman holds his ground, telling her he understands how she feels as an outcast. Norman endures her assault and eventually convinces her that her vengeance is accomplishing nothing and persuades her to stop. Norman tells her that there must have been someone who was kind to her.
Agatha recalls happy memories with her mother. She is able to find a measure of peace and cross over to the afterlife. The storm dissipates, and she and the zombies all fade away. The town cleans up and regards Norman as a hero. In the end, Norman watches a horror film with the ghost of his grandmother and his family.
Voice Cast Edit
- Kodi Smit-McPhee as Norman Babcock, an 11-year-old outcast kid who speaks to the dead
- Jodelle Ferland as Agatha "Aggie" Prenderghast, a ghost of a Puritan girl who lived in the 1700s.
- Tucker Albrizzi as Neil Downe, Norman's eccentric and chubby friend
- Anna Kendrick as Courtney Babcock, Norman's 17-year-old sister and cheerleader
- Casey Affleck as Mitch Downe, Neil's 18-year-old brother and a jock; the target of Courtney's affections.
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Alvin, a 13-year-old school bully
- Leslie Mann as Sandra Babcock, Norman's mother
- Jeff Garlin as Perry Babcock, Norman's father
- Elaine Stritch as Grandma Babcock, Norman's ghost grandmother
- Bernard Hill as Judge Hopkins, the leader of the zombies
- John Goodman as Mr. Prenderghast, Norman's uncle and the town's local lunatic
- Tempestt Bledsoe as Sheriff Hooper, a police officer
- Hannah Noyes as Salma, a smart girl from Norman's class
- Ariel Winter as Blithe Hollow kid
- Bridget Hoffman as Crystal and Parachutist Ghost
- Scott Menville as Deputy Wayne
- David Cowgill as Greaser Ghost
- Wendy Hoffman as Gucci Lady
- Alex Borstein as Mrs. Henscher, Norman's teacher
- Jeremy Shada as Pug
- Emily Hahn as Sweet Girl
- Kirk Baily, Cam Clarke, Lara Cody, Eddie Frierson, Rif Hutton, Edie Mirman and David Zyler as Blithe Hollow townspeople