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Written by: Christopher Lee
The next few months are going to be crazy times in the theaters for geeks, nerds, dweebs and spaz’s, but let’s not let all the blockbusters take our focus away from some of the “smaller” films that might otherwise slip under the radar, like “ParaNorman” which comes out on August 17th, 2012 from Laika Entertainment, the studio that brought us “Coraline” and “The Corpse Bride”.
“ParaNorman” tells the tale of young Norman Babcock who is your stereotypical “Weird Kid” who gets put down by his family and picked on at school. The difference here lies in the odd ability young Norman has for communicating with the dead.
This of course leads him to all sorts of issues that a kid his age shouldn’t have to deal with, but nothing like the sort of problem that’s coming when an evil witch spirit casts a spell to raise the dead and rule the world. Her plan might come to fruition if not for the heroic efforts of the reluctant little hero.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit. The plot is/seems a bit “done”, cliche’d, and contrived. It really seems like the studio just wanted to make another “creepy kid’s movie” and having run out of ideas and not wanting to deliberately rip off Edward Gorey, instead ripped off Peter Jackson. Really, this movie looks like the “Frighteners” for kids (and Hot Topic patrons). Not to mention all the obvious stereotypes. C’mon, haven’t we had enough of the “friend of the misfit hero is a dopey fat kid”? I’m sure that if it wasn’t that, it’d probably be a ginger. I mean, everyone knows the only hero dork in pop-culture who has a best friend that’s not an idiot, socially inept, or of obvious physical difference than the norm, is Spider-Man (I refer to Harry Osbourne if you didn’t get that), though, granted, as much as I love the new series, “Ultimate Spider-Man”s Miles Morales’ best friend is a chubby asian nerd…stereotype much? Okay, okay, that’s a different article all together.
All that being said, none of it means that I don’t want to see “ParaNorman”, mind you. It still looks fun, and I honestly think going into it with lower expectations will let me enjoy it a bit more than if I expected something great and new. Your thoughts?