ParaNorman’s main character is not normal. Norman can see dead people and maintains his friendship with some of them. Then a zombie goes around his town, which has a witch burning past. ParaNorman is a cut 3D stop-motion animated film.
It is directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell. The two go for a 80s feel with ParaNorman. Butler describes the movie as John Carpenter meets John Hughes. It is said to be like a Scooby Doo episode directed by Sam Raimi.
Both directors were present during a recent preview screening of the film at LucasFilm in San Francisco. Fell said that ParaNorman is not just a comedy but it also has a dramatic heart to it. It is influenced by movies from the 80s, such as The Goonies.
The story of ParaNorman is American while both filmmakers are British. British is now a resident of Portland, Oregon and was part of the crew who made Coraline. Butler did Despereaux as well as Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. ParaNorman is the first directorial job for Butler.
Butler wanted to make ParaNorman into a stop-motion movie rather than a computer-generated film. He said that stop-motion has a magical quality to it. CG is about making a perfect image on the screen and it is chasing reality. Stop-motion uses real objects on stage with real lights. It’s like seeing inanimate objects come to life.
ParaNorman is not about supernatural beings but about the lonely world of a child. It gives out the message that if you’re unique and you’re not alone. Butler said that a lot of the elements in the movie came from his childhood. He added that every artist and craftsperson that worked in the movie was Norman at some point in their lives. They were all outsiders.
Fell added that they were art kids on the playground. He said that the popular kids are boring even if they seemed to be more successful.