Laika Entertainment (the animation studio behind Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Henry Selick’s Coraline adaptation) are back with another 3D stop-motion animated supernatural horror-comedy: ParaNorman, an original film written and co-directed by onetime storyboard artist Chris Butler, in collaboration with co-helmer Sam Fell (Flushed Away).
The ParaNorman teaser trailer amounted to a glorified montage/patchwork of eye-catching visuals, set to the toe-tapping tune of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch”. Today, we have a second theatrical promo that offers a little more story, along with a better look at some of the supernatural entities (ghosts, zombies, etc.) that run wild throughout the film.
One important plot point revealed in this new ParaNorman trailer concerns the eponymous character, Norman (voice of Kodi Smit-McPhee), and involves the adolescent boy being able to both see and communicate with the recently-deceased. That ability hasn’t always been a blessing for the young man (judging by his fatigued demeanor and prickly hairdo) but Norman’s sixth-sense proves to be quite handy when a “centuries-old curse” results in an army of ghouls, witches, and zombies being set loose on his hometown.
Check out the second ParaNorman trailer below:
Stop-motion animation is a great medium when it comes to telling stories that boast loads of bizarre imagery and colorful characters; in the case of a movie like ParaNorman, the exaggerated design of everything from Norman’s suburban surroundings to the dark and threatening woods that linger on the outskirts of town, looks to work better in the format (passing over the fact that it’s also being supervised by two well-experienced visual artists).
In terms of plot, ParaNorman sounds like a fun (if familiar) variation on the standard narrative about a young outcast getting his day to shine. However, it should help that the film’s various side characters are being brought to life by the impressionable vocals of people such as Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc.), Leslie Mann (Knocked Up), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Casey Affleck (Ocean’s Eleven), Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), and Elaine Stritch (30 Rock).
ParaNorman will open in 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on August 17th, 2012.