ParaNorman (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
From the makers of Coraline comes the story of Norman, a boy who must use his ability to see and speak with the dead to save his town from a centuries-old curse. In addition to spooky zombies, he’ll also have to take on mysterious ghosts, wily witches and worst of all, clueless grown-ups. But this young ghoul whisperer will soon find his paranormal abilities pushed to their otherworldly limits. Featuring the voice talents of Kodi Smit-McPhee (Norman), Anna Kendrick (Courtney), Casey Affleck (Mitch), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Alvin), Leslie Mann (Sandra), Jeff Garlin (Perry) and John Goodman (Mr. Prenderghast), it’s a frightfully funny and magically thrilling adventure for the whole family in eye-popping stop-motion. – Focus ©
Universal's technical presentation is just flawless. I didn't encounter any significant artifacting, banding (a regular offender in animated films), or other post-production issues. A faint veneer of grain permeates the proceedings, but it only serves to enhance the filmic nature of the image. Simply put, Universal's video transfer is just as magnificent as Paranorman’s gorgeous animation.
Universals commanding DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is just as impressive. Dialogue is crisp, clean, and nicely prioritized in the movie. Ambience is enveloping and convincing, directionality is eerily realistic, and interior acoustics are as precise and immersive as they come. No matter what scene you choose, simply listen to it all unfold. Paranorman may pack a tremendous visual punch, but its aural kick will leave its mark as well.
I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to watch Paranorman. Would it be just another children’s movie or would it truly be a movie the whole family would enjoy? The answer is both. It is a great children’s movie but an even better family movie. Although the stop motion animation is sheer brilliance, the story of the film is fun, intelligent, and heartfelt. The film absolutely immerses you in a world that feels real. The story revolves around assumptions and misunderstanding of people’s beliefs and how they are used to punish “different” people. Paranorman is definitely one of the top animated films of the year. Pop some popcorn and gather the family for this brilliantly animated thrill ride.
Posted by Ryan Gibbs, November 26, 2012 7:57 AM