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Paranorman

First a story. During this year's LA vacay, I'm with my travel buddy at Universal Studios. Right after we get off the tram from the studio tour, we get some sad news that a friend of ours had passed away. I try to keep us in "vacation mode" to distract said buddy and not ruin her last day in SoCal, esp since the news hit her much harder (it didnt get me as much til the next day). As we're cutting across the park, I see a station where some of the Paranorman characters are out and about taking pictures. I snap a quick shot of them as we pass by, but don't actually stop. We head over to the Terminator show. Before going in, I sit her down on a bench while I go and refill our sodas. I come back to find her sobbing. We take a few minutes and then I usher her into and out of the show. I remember thinking that I wish I could have had one last big bear hug from this friend of ours (the boy was quite the big cuddly giant). She's just sorta aimlessly wandering in whatever direction I point her in. I see the Paranorman characters walking towards us, likely leaving their shift. Some lady is walking ahead of them, looking at the map, and the Judge reaches over her and points something out at her, making her jump half a foot in the air. I let out a laugh, my friend hardly manages a chuckle. We take a few more steps and suddenly something grabs us from behind. It's the Judge again. He's got one of us under each arm, in a really tight grip and starts walking us over to the photo station. I'm playing along, confused but finding the whole thing hilarious. He seriously dragged us thru half of the park. He lets go of me, and passes me off to another ghost. I manage to reach into my bag for my camera so we can get a picture. But the two of us are still held hostage for another minute or two. Norman has to pry my ghost off of me. We walk away laughing hysterically, breaking the sad tension of the day. We comment how our departed friend must be looking out for us, wanting us to still have fun on this trip, and I realize that I was able to get my last big bear hug after all. So Paranorman will always hold a special place in my heart just for that experience.

Although I'm a little miffed that everyone else in the theater had these cool lime green 3D glasses, and I only had the standard black ones. Not fair.

Reasons I was excited for Paranorman: I love kids movies, I love dark kids movies (Tim Burton-esque), I love stop motion animation, I love this cast. It really did deliver on all those fronts. I thought the humor and the setting were so cute, but again, that dark kinda cute. The animation is just impressive. I am so over computer animation, so to see something carefully crafted and old school is just so beautiful to me. It especially helps when, as previously mentioned, the characters were adorable in their own misunderstood way. The cast included Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, and Kodi Smit-McPhee all of whom were brilliant.

I really vibed with the beginning of the story, your poor little outcast and misunderstood boy. He's just trying to survive in his world. I sympathize so much with outcast stories, especially ones with such great characters. I will admit that the story did tend to go a little dull once we were in full on zombie attack mode. There wasn't as much progression, and I wasn't entirely sure where certain things were headed. But that's really a minor complaint. The rest of the movie was a lot of fun. I'd been waiting for this all summer, and I think it was worthwhile

Paranorman - \m/ \m/ \m/ \n
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