PARANORMAN ‘For Your Consideration’ Featurette Goes Behind-the-Scenes of the “Most Ambitious Stop-Motion Film Ever Made”

by     Posted 1 year, 364 days ago


The amount of behind-the-scenes work that went into creating ParaNorman should be worth an award by itself. New featurettes for the Chris Butler and Sam Fell film are reminding the academy voters that the animated feature is the “most ambitious stop-motion film ever made.” Using cutting-edge technology in the form of fully-articulated puppets and 3D printing, just to name a few, the creative army behind ParaNorman is still a devoted group of craftspeople at their core. Even for those of you who enjoyed the film, these featurettes reveal a lot of hidden details in certain scenes and will give you a whole new appreciation for the work that went into bringing ParaNorman to the screen.

Featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Anna Kendrick, John Goodman, Leslie Mann and Tucker AlbrizziParaNorman is now available on DVD/Blu-ray. Hit the jump to check out the featurette.


by     Posted 2 years, 15 days ago


A staple of every awards season is the multitude of roundtable interviews and discussions that pop up featuring said season’s top contenders.  We’ve already shared an hourlong interview with some of the Best Director contenders like Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, and Tom Hooper, but today a roundtable of a different sort popped online.  The LA Times put together their first ever animation roundtable as they gathered the following directors for a 60-minute discussion: Mark Andrews (Brave), Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), Chris Butler (ParaNorman), Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), and Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania).

The resulting video is an absolutely fascinating and candid discussion between the filmmakers about the evolution of animated films, a possible renaissance of 2D animation and who’s to blame for 3D animation dominating the marketplace, breaking down social barriers and the stigma of animated movies being exclusively for kids, and more.  It’s a wonderful discussion and is well worth your time.  Hit the jump to watch.


by     Posted 2 years, 17 days ago


Here’s the thing about ParaNorman: it’s not the family romp it claims to be. The ads push the child hero, and the kid-friendly animation, peppered with the expected amount of grown-up in-jokes. They’re not lying, but at the same time, they miss film’s overall tone: dark, creepy, and often quite sad. That’s actually a good thing – it helps make ParaNorman one of the more original animated features in recent years – but it might catch newcomers by surprise. Hit the jump for my full review of the Blu-ray.

TOP 5: THE EXPENDABLES 2, PARANORMAN, THE LAST STAND, David Cronenberg Doesn’t Like Superhero Movies, BULLET TO THE HEAD

by     Posted 2 years, 123 days ago


This weekend’s release of ParaNorman will afford me the rare opportunity to share an afternoon in the theater with two of my nephews, ages 8 and 10. Granted, they’re a little disappointed that we’re not checking it out in 3D, but I just can’t bring myself to foster any sort of affinity for the technology in their young and impressionable minds. The last movie we watched in theaters together was 2009′s Up and it was an experience that I’ll never forget as its brilliant opening sequence brought tears to both of their eyes at the ripe ages of 5 and 7. It was a glowing example of the cinema’s ability to touch young and old alike and while ParaNorman will likely be unable to touch that moment, I’m looking forward to it a ton nonetheless.

My weekend plans aside, in a three-fifths ode to our action heroes of yesteryear, this week’s Top 5 includes video interviews with the cast of The Expendables 2, video interviews with the cast and directors of ParaNorman, the first poster and trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand, David Cronenberg vs. the superhero genre, and the first trailer for Sly Stallone and director Walter Hill‘s revenge tale, Bullet to the Head. As always, a brief recap and link to each greets you after the jump.


by     Posted 2 years, 125 days ago


I’ve always been slightly bewildered by the zombie genre.  Occasionally, it will be a social satire (the original Dawn of the Dead) or a spoof/homage (Shaun of the Dead), but I’m not sure what to do with games like Left 4 Dead or Zombieland.  They’re certainly entertaining, but they seem based on the desire to kill humans without having to deal with the nasty morality of that decision.  Zombies aren’t people too, but they were humans once, and it’s odd to take such glee in destroying them.  It’s a license to kill with the knowledge that zombies are out to hurt you first.  But what if the zombies weren’t malevolent?  What happens when we shoot first, and don’t bother asking questions later?  ParaNorman is a sharp, witty comedy with a ton of heart that puts a thoughtful twist on the zombie genre, and how a righteous cause can be anything but right.

Fantastically Moody New Trailer for PARANORMAN

by     Posted 2 years, 126 days ago


A new web-only trailer for LAIKA’s (Coraline) stop-motion animated film ParaNorman has gone online, and the film continues to look absolutely gorgeous.  This trailer is framed by narration from the character voiced by John Goodman as he explains that a witch’s curse is descending on the town and Norman is the only person who can stop it.  While the other trailers have played up the film’s top-notch humor and swell animation, this clip reminds us of the pic’s supernaturally enhanced, moody atmosphere.  I continue to be ridiculously excited for ParaNorman and Friday can’t get here soon enough.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, and if you missed Steve’s interviews be sure to check out what Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and directors Sam Fell and Chris Butler had to say about the film.  The voice cast also includes Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck, and Leslie MannParaNorman opens in 3D on August 17th.

Directors Sam Fell and Chris Butler Talk PARANORMAN

by     Posted 2 years, 128 days ago


Opening on August 17 is LAIKA’s awesome 3D stop-motion feature, ParaNorman.  Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, the film centers on a young boy who can see the dead and must use this gift to lift a curse that threatens his small town.  ParaNorman features the voices of Kodi-Smit McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Jodelle Ferland and more.  For more on the film, here’s six clips, a very cool featurette called Time Lapse, and all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I spoke to Butler and Fell.  We talked about making ParaNorman, how the story changed along the way, the technical challenges, and the balancing act of doing a film for all ages that has zombies and scary moments.  Hit the jump to watch.


by     Posted 2 years, 132 days ago


With directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell’s ParaNorman opening in a couple weeks, we’ve been given some swag to send off to one lucky reader.  The 3D stop-motion picture centers on a young boy who can see the dead and must use this gift to lift a curse that threatens his small town.  ParaNorman features the voices of Kodi-Smit McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Jodelle Ferland and more.  The stop-motion animated flick opens August 17th.  Hit the jump to see how you can win some swag.

Olympic TV Spots for Animated Features WRECK-IT RALPH and PARANORMAN

by     Posted 2 years, 142 days ago

With the Olympics currently dominating TV viewership, the animated characters of ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph have decided to get into the gamesTwo new TV spots have gone online for ParaNorman, the stop-motion animated tale directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell that tasks Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) with preventing a curse that will allow the dead to overrun his hometown. Rich Moore’s Wreck-It Ralph also gets into the act with a spot featuring stars Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch.  Hit the jump to check out the TV spots.

Comic-Con: PARANORMAN Panel Recap; Christopher Mintz-Plasse Reveals KICK-ASS 2 May Start Filming in September

by     Posted 2 years, 159 days ago


I’ve been looking forward to ParaNorman ever since the incredible first trailer premiered nearly a year ago.  The stop-motion animated pic comes from LAIKA, the studio behind Coraline, and centers on a young boy whose ability to communicate with the dead comes in handy when his town is overrun by ghosts, witches, zombies, etc.

Directors Sam Fell and Chris Butler, LAIKA head Travis Knight, and actors Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse took the stage at Hall H at Comic-Con 2012 to unveil some footage and answer questions.  The 3D footage looks incredibly and you can read my recap of the lively panel discussion after the jump.

PARANORMAN Viral Newsletters Highlight Stop-Motion Characters

by     Posted 2 years, 186 days ago


The stop-motion animated film ParaNorman already boasts cutting-edge visuals, but new viral newsletters serve to flesh out the story of the characters behind the puppets.  ParaNorman centers on the title character, voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee, a gifted but misunderstood young boy who has the power to speak to the ghostly residents of his hometown of Blithe Hollow.  We’ve already seen the gorgeous character and scene work in these images, TV spots, posters and trailers; Steve got an even closer look at the animation process during his set visit to LAIKA Studios.  Now, thanks to these viral newsletters, we get to see a little more background story on on the inhabitants of the cursed little town.

ParaNorman also features the voices of Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, and Alex Borstein.  The movie opens in 3D on August 17th.  Hit the jump to check out the newsletters.

35 Things to Know About PARANORMAN From Our Set Visit; Plus Video Blog Recap and 30 Behind-the-Scenes Images

by     Posted 2 years, 218 days ago


In the middle of February, I was able to visit LAIKA Studios in Hillsboro, Oregon to get an early look at their upcoming 3D stop-motion movie ParaNorman.  As a big stop-motion fan, it was incredibly cool to get a behind-the-scenes look at how it all comes together, and to see where they made their last film, Coraline.  While I assumed the process of making a stop-motion movie doesn’t change, when I visited LAIKA I learned that new technology is helping to make ParaNorman one of the most technically advanced stop-motion movies ever made, and some of what they’re using is straight out of an episode of Star Trek.  And the best part: the technology will soon be in everyone’s homes!  Hit the jump for more.

Focus Features Signs Two-Picture Distribution Deal with CORALINE Studio LAIKA; Will Release PARANORMAN Next August

by     Posted 3 years, 230 days ago


Focus Features will reteam with Coraline animation studio LAIKA for two upcoming pictures.  Focus will distribute the first film under the deal, ParaNorman, on August 17, 2012.  The film will be only the second stop-motion animated film to be released in 3D.  Directed by Sam Fell (Flushed Away) and Chris Butler (storyboard supervisor on Coraline), ParaNorman is a comedy thriller about a local boy (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) who can speak with the dead, which comes in handy when his town becomes under siege from zombies, ghosts, witches, moronic grown-up, and a centuries-old curse.  The voice cast also includes Casey Affleck, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintze-Plasse, Bernard Hill, Tempestt Bledsoe, Elaine Stritch, and Anna Kendrick.

The yet-to-be-named second picture will be released by Focus in 2014.  Hit the jump for the full press release.

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