Tag Archives: Sam Fell

Interview: ParaNorman Director Sam Fell And Writer-Director Chris Butler

It ain’t easy making a stop-motion animated feature. “ParaNorman” clocks in at 96 minutes. The best weeks of production for the “ParaNorman” team resulted in two minutes of footage. You only need to do some really simple math to figure out how big of an undertaking it is to make a stop-motion animation film and you only need to see the final product to know that in the case of “ParaNorman,” the work was well worth it.

On top of having to deal with bullies and typical pre-teen troubles, Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) also talks to the dead and the whole town knows it. Cool, right? Well, maybe if they actually believed he really was talking to the dead and not just out of his mind. When Norman’s Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) passes away, Norman’s the only one left who can talk to the dead and, therefore, is the only one capable of keeping the witch’s curse at bay.

In honor of the film’s August 17th release, director Sam Fell and writer-director Chris Butler sat down to run through the whole process from the pieces of Butler’s own childhood that influenced the story to the attention to detail that goes into creating even the tiniest prop, the use of 3D printers and more. Check it all out for yourself in the video interview below and be sure to catch “ParaNorman” in theaters this weekend.

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Review: ParaNorman

As a sucker for animated movies and horror films, hopes were high for “ParaNorman.” While the experience was primarily satisfying, those with a pension for horror suspecting this might bear a creep factor similar to “Coraline” beware; “ParaNorman” does boast downright incredible visuals, an engaging plot, charming characters and more, but it’s also quite juvenile.

Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) isn’t the most popular kid at school. It isn’t because he’s a nerd, isn’t a jock or even because he’s in a lame school club; Norman’s an outcast because he talks to the dead. While many folks pass away and make a B-line to the other side, those with unfinished business, like Norman’s grandmother (Elaine Stritch), hang around.

When Norman starts to have even stranger otherworldly visions, he comes to learn that it’s because the anniversary of the witch’s death is on the horizon. His uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) tells him that if someone doesn’t go to her grave and read from a particular book, the curse will come true. With the help of his sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick), buddy Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), Neil’s big brother Mitch (Casey Affleck), and Norman’s schoolyard nemesis Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Norman sets out to send a group of zombies back to their graves and put an end to this 300 year old curse for good.

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