Swanner: From the makers of Coraline comes ParaNorman, the tale of a young boy who sees dead people. Young Norman is a bit of an outcast because he can talk to the dead. Most of the kids in school pick on him out of fear except for the nerdy girl and the chubby boy. (This certainly has become the stereotype for underdog storylines) As the town grows closer to the 300th anniversary of the putting a witch to death, Norman must save the town from the evil crawling out of the towns cemetery
Judd: If you look at writer/director Chris Butler’s credentials on IMDB there isn’t much there. He’s never written or directed anything before and he was a story board artist for a couple of films. ParaNorman is a stop-motion animated film, and the characters are gorgeous with an excellent amount of detail. You can tell the camera work is all done up close and you can almost see the animators hands positioning the figures in each frame. However, put all that aside and you’re left with a heavy handed, liberal “lesson movie” that sodomizes you with repeated messages of acceptance, fear, mass hysteria and mob mentality.
Swanner: I’ll agree it is beautifully made but I wouldn’t call it heavy handed. It’s there and you recognize it but to those who need to learn those lessons I’m sure it falls on deaf ears. After all, the story is about witches and zombies … I don’t see it being a conservative’s destination. I did notice that this is probably the fattest town ever created for the animation landscape, but there was never a comment on weight past “Fatty” being written on the locker. I think the reason you found it so “heavy handed” was because it also pointed out that bullying was bad and I know how much you love to bully.
Judd: Me bully? You shut your fat loser mouth or I’m going to shove you in a locker! You understand me, Chunk? It’s a kids’ movie, there shouldn’t be anything political about it. If a movie is written well enough, the “message” can usually go undetected, but this movie comes out wearing an Obama pin and waving a rainbow flag. Look, our readers know our political affiliation so I can’t be accused of being a right-wing nutjob seeing things that aren’t there. Our readers should also already know that I can’t stand being preached to, and ParaNorman is one of the worst offenders we’ve seen in a long time.
Swanner: I know it’s a bit of preaching to the choir but in this dumb and stone world sometimes you need a good beating. It’s a nice movie. Stop being a hater because it was too preachy. Heaven forbid it was in the other direction. There were some wonderful voice overs as well including Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Elaine Stritch and Alex Burstein. I bet you’ll have it as part of your Halloween collection next year.
Judd: Wow, for calling the beautiful and nice, you sure didn’t like it very much, Mr. Two Stars out of Five. I get it. I’m calling a spade a spade and you, being the bleeding heart liberal, feel the need to defend it even though you think the same way I do about it. And that’s what’s wrong with the Democratic Party as a whole. It was a “nice” and beautifully made movie; it was also preachy, long and boring. We were both yawning from the second act on. I hope Chris Butler keeps making gorgeous stop-motion movies; Tim Burton needs a contemporary. But for the love of all that’s holy, someone unplug his Selectric and fold up his director’s chair.