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ParaNorman making-of featurette: “Hand-making the World”

I posted the trailer for Laika’s ParaNorman last October, and while the film still has a little way to go before its August 17th release, Focus Features has posted a making-of featurette on the official website.

I’m a huge animation nerd, and I love behind the scenes/making-of stuff, so I thought I’d post something other than a trailer or a short film just this once.

A synopsis for the zombie flick follows after the cut:

ParaNorman is set in the town of Blithe Hollow, whose locals profit from mining the town’s history as the site, 300 years ago, of a famous witch hunt. 11-year-old Norman Babcock (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee of Let Me In and The Road) spends much of his days appreciating the finer points of scary movies and studying ghost lore. In fact, Norman is gifted with the ability to see and speak with the dead, such as his beloved grandmother (Elaine Stritch). Most days, he prefers their company to that of his flustered father (Jeff Garlin), spacey mother (Leslie Mann), and deeply superficial older sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick). At middle school, Norman dodges bullying Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), confides in the impressionable Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), and tries to tune out his blowhard teacher Mrs. Henscher (Alex Borstein).

Norman is unexpectedly contacted by his odd uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman), who floors him with the revelation that a centuries-old witch’s curse is real and is about to come true, and that only Norman will be able to stop it from going into overdrive and harming the townspeople. Once a septet of zombies – led by The Judge (Bernard Hill) – suddenly rises from their graves, Norman finds himself caught in a wild race against time alongside Courtney, Alvin, Neil, and Neil’s musclebound older brother Mitch (Casey Affleck) as Sheriff Hooper (Tempestt Bledsoe) chases them all. Worse, the town is up in arms and taking up arms.

Norman bravely summons up all that makes a hero – courage and compassion – as he finds his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.


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