Paranorman, the new stop motion animated film from Laika Studios is an intriguing idea for a film that always falls just shy of its premise thanks to a lackluster script and some occasionally jerky animation. The film follows Norman, a lonely boy who can see and talk to ghosts. When a Witch's Curse from back in the Puritan days brings zombies back to life roaming Norman's town, it's up to Norman to save the day. The best parts of the film are the jokes making stabs at classic horror film cliches, such as the zombies being afraid of the humans trying to kill them, rather than the other way around. As well, the examination of bullying and its effects on children is handled fairly well through Norman's journey in the film, but where the film falls short is in all of the two-dimensional characters that surround Norman. All of the characters that surround Norman are Hollywood movie cliches, the jock, the bully, the dumb girl, etc. Then, add on to the fact that the animation of the characters is often jerky, looking as if the animators forgot to animate a few key frames, which in stop motion animation can be headache inducing, and you have a so-so film.
I give Paranorman an F