Paranorman – How To Hammer Home A Message

There’s a huge difference between American animation, be it stop motion or otherwise, and British animation.

This difference is as apparent as anywhere if you look at Paranorman and, say, pretty much any other animation of the same type, from any country really.

You see, films generally have messages, not all do, but most. Those messages range from don’t do drugs to be excellent to each other to don’t trust the aliens.

Most films manage to convey their message with subtlety, they say it once – usually at the end of the film, and move on with their lives.

Paranorman however wants you to get their message. They want you to know more than anything what their message is. They want you to know so much that they keep hammering it at you scene-by-scene like a cartoon character with a frying pan.

Now don’t get me wrong, Paranorman is stunning to look at, but that’s about it. It’s not particularly funny, it isn’t scary (maybe if you are ten?) but the worst element is the main character Norman Babcock, voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee. Oh god this is the most annoying, whiny character ever to grace the big screen. I think you are supposed to feel sorry for him, maybe side with him. All I could think was he needed a slap round the earhole and told to stop whining.

By the middle of the film his voice was grating on me that rubbing my ears over a cheese-grater would have been preferable.

Tim Burton-esq to look at it may be but it lacks the story telling capabilities and characters of the weird great one!


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