Paranorman arrives to theaters today! We’ve been excited to see this new film and we’ve already shared with you the process that went into making this visually stunning film. After watching it we were stuck by the strong message behind this film. As you might have already discovered from watching the trailer, Paranorman is the story of a boy who doesn’t fit in because of his strange gift. He can see and talk to the dead. Because of that he is constantly bullied and school and goes home to a family that, although they love him, aren’t very supportive. Yet, when his entire town is in danger Norman’s gift is the only thing that can bring the whole town together and save them from danger.
At it’s core Paranorman deals with many issues that our own kids are going through, and what’s great is that it also emanates a strong message to our niños of acceptance of others differences and bravery. Although it deals with serious messages like bullying and it has scary zombie scenes there are plenty of laughs in between to lighten the mood. Paranorman is great film to enjoy with the entire family before our kids head back to school. But be warned that this film might be a little too scary for some of our younger kids.
We had the chance to ask Anna Kendrick (voice of Courtney), lead animator and producer Travis Knight, and directors Sam Fell and Chris Butler a few questions about their new film. Check out what they have to say about the making and message of Paranorman.
What appealed to you about this script?
I personally love an adventure movie….Where like a bunch of kids on their own have an adventure. where it doesn’t feel like any adults could come and help them. That’s like a real treat for my inner child. It’s like the goonies or something. And I love that when I started reading the script I realized that oh its a bunch of kids on an adventure and like the parents aren’t gonna come and save the day. – Anna Kendrick
Why did you decide to make this film?
The story of Paranorman really is the story of the people who made it. It’s the story of this misfit this outcast who is pushed to the fringes of his society because he is weird. He has this strange gift that people dont understand.And yet, his gift is exaclty what his community needs to bring them all together. I found that there was really an analogous connection between Norman’s story and our story. We were all weird kids. We were all strange kids who didn’t quite fit in. But we all had great gifts and I think when we were all able to brings those gifts to life we can contribute something to the world. I felt that that was a story that needed to be told. – Travis Knight
Directors Sam Fell and Chris Butler on their new film Paranorman
Chris Butler: There is something to relate to when you see a family that isn’t quite perfect. Every kid knows what it’s like to hear their parents argue. So putting that in a kids movie , even if it’s something simple it’s something that you get.
Sam Fell: I think kids love going to the movies and seeing themselves on the screen. Seeing their experiences played out.
Chris Butler: Thats a big part of it as well. You present these challanges these obstacles for a kid who’s scared as well, but the kid on screen this kid who doesn’t fit in well actually succeeds, he get’s past these obstacles. I think that’s what makes it cool.
How did you decide how scary to make this movie?
Chris Butler: My approach to it again even in the writing was to … fundamentally for me what makes good children’s fiction, and this is not just movies but it’s books, tv shows, comics whatever is presenting things that are challenging and that includes scary stuff. You know you go back to the tradition of fairy tales to present villains to present monsters. It’s been going on since time began to children in order to explain how to overcome them. …You know what’s interesting about this movie is there are no villains in it even though there is scary stuff the majority of it is people making poor choices. So there is a complexity to it that I really wanted to embrace.
On the recurring theme of bullying throughout the movie:
Chris Butler: The unfortunate truth is that bullying is always around and intolerance, and we was trying to say something about that.