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ParaNorman (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
04991648_paranorman_bluray_cover.jpeg
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
94





Studio and Year: Focus Features - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 93 minutes
Genre: Animation/Family/Comedy/Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Directed by: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Written by: Chris Butler
Music by: Jon Brion
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 27, 2012







"It's all fun and games until someone raises the dead."


Film Synopsis:

A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.


My Take:

ParaNorman is another one of those "is it too scary for my kid??" kids flicks. Well I can say it did scare my 5 year old, but It didn't give him nightmares, and he is already asked to see it again. I have no problem with a repeat viewing as I found it witty, well paced and beautiful to look at.

ParaNorman is the tale of an outcast boy, Norman Babcock. Norman can see dead people, speak to dead people, but has a hard time relating with those pesky living people. He befriends another strange boy in Neil, who believes Norman can speak to the dead, when the rest of town just poke fun. When Norman is told of a sacred ritual that he must perform in order to protect his town of a century old curse bestowed by a witch, he goes hunting for the book in which the the text is written. Norman pushes Neil away before he goes looking, to protect him, no only find himself a bit over his head.

In a world of high quality kids flicks, amazing animation and beautiful high definition imagery, ParaNorman stood out for a few reasons. It was a bit on the spooky side for a kids flick, however it was not about the scare as much as the point it seems to be driving in. It's underlying theme is of discrimination against those and what you don't understand, and that the humans can be more cruel and scary than the zombies and ghosts. It doesn't pander to kiddie sensibilities, it treats them as worthy subjects that can handle this bit of adulthood, learn a lesson and have some ghoulish fun at the same time. I do think if you have a easily frightened or overly sensitive child it's best to wait until 7 or older. I watched this with 5 people ranging from 5 to 72, and we all loved ParaNorman. The stop-animation and visuals were eye candy, and it looked and sounded amazing on Blu-ray. I can see it becoming a Halloween time favorite!




Parental Guide:

Rated PG for scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude humor and language



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 92

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 96

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



ParaNorman comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24.4 Mbps and DTS-MA HD 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps

ParaNorman's video showcases the amazing stop-animation that went into this project, with every fine detailed rendered with stunning clarity. Black Levels, shadow detail and a vividly delicious color palette all add to this reference images fidelity. The audio track, not as utterly impressive, but non-the-less reference caliber shines, especially at the moments a lesser mix might fold. When things get hectic and the wind is blowing, the soundtrack is playing, the screams are screaming...well thankfully it was a breeze to keep up with it all. The rears were used with taste, dynamics to scare and when the LFE kicked in it was elegant and room shaking. ParaNorman is a gorgeous transfer from a beautiful source that is reference in both audio and video.


Bonus Features:


  • Feature Commentary from Director Sam Fell and Writer/Director Chris Butler

  • (HD) 7 Featurettes on the making of Paranorman

  • (HD) Preliminary Animatic Sequences

  • (HD) Peering Through the Veil: The Stop-Motion of Paranorman

  • DVD Copy

  • Digital Copies (UV and iTunes)




Final Thoughts:

Paranorman, fun for the whole family (as long as we have no feeble specimens at home), from the little ones to your dear old dead great mother in-law. All can appreciate the wit, the art and the message behind this fun and scary flick. The creators of Coraline have outdone themselves and Universal presents it all with reference caliber A/V and a bunch of special features to sink those chompers into.



356891








Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS45 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5509 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triad InRoom Gold LCR's
Triad OnWall Silver Surrounds
2 Triad Silver OmniSubs
post #2 of 23
Lee thanks for the terrific review. I took advantage the $20 TRU goupon (for $10) specifically to pick up this as a blind buy. I can see this and Monster House of two family Halloween Favorites.
post #3 of 23
Greetings,

Thanks Lee and I absolutely agree. smile.gif


Regards,
post #4 of 23
Great review Lee. I tell you this, I rarely watch all of the supplements on any disc, but the multi-part "making-of" featurette on this disc is very informative and worth the time investment to see how they went about making this film.
post #5 of 23
I'm getting this on a blind buy thanks Lee my daughter wants it. It actually gets released here in Australia in the theatres in Jan 2013 so I can't go wrong smile.gif
post #6 of 23
Thanks Lee, great review! I appreciate that you touch on whether it's appropriate for certain ages as that is certainly one of my considerations with my young ones.
cheers
post #7 of 23
Watched this tonight, I don't think I'll show my 5 year old yet I think he will get scared quite easily. Great film I enjoyed it very much.
post #8 of 23
Franin, I know what you mean. I thought it would be a fun family movie so I sat down with my 7 year old and my 3 year old to watch. Needless to say that was a mistake.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by club968 View Post

Franin, I know what you mean. I thought it would be a fun family movie so I sat down with my 7 year old and my 3 year old to watch. Needless to say that was a mistake.

Oh no lets hope they forget it quick, I can tell you my son wouldnt and it will take him weeks to get over it esp at night. I screen these types of kids film first now. There is another one coming out called Frankinweenie ( I think ) I will be screening that first before hes eligible to watch it.
post #10 of 23
Haven't seen this movie....but the trailers made it seem similar to Monster House. How do the two compare?
post #11 of 23
They are very similar both are not made for young kids to watch.
post #12 of 23

I thought the actual movie was average at best, but made better simply by the stunning technology.  The extras on the disc, especially the how-they-made-it sections, were truly amazing.  I was a bit disappointed in spending the $$$ until I saw those extras - then I felt better about buying it.

post #13 of 23
I just finished watching the extras and thought it was amazing the work they put into making this film.
post #14 of 23
Double post
post #15 of 23
Rented it last night. Thought it was excellent. Definitely gonna buy it (especially since the rental version locks out the extras).
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

Rented it last night. Thought it was excellent. Definitely gonna buy it (especially since the rental version locks out the extras).

Greetings,

cool.gif


Regards,
post #17 of 23
Finally got around to watching this. Extremely impressive animation and not a bad story. PQ and AQ are also great.
post #18 of 23
Well, if rdgrimes likes it, and Lee and Ralph give it a thumbs up, I guess I'd better watch it. smile.gif Otherwise it was completely off my radar.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by filecat13 View Post

Well, if rdgrimes likes it, and Lee and Ralph give it a thumbs up, I guess I'd better watch it. smile.gif Otherwise it was completely off my radar.

Atta boy!
post #20 of 23
Just wanted to add a late post to say I love this movie. Got it in 3D and it too is fabulous! (Funny you didn't get to review the 3D, Lee.) My youngest is 4-soon-to-be-5 and he keeps rewatching it! (Same thing with Frankenweenie, for that matter.) Though, Lee's right, do mind your own little one's sensibilities beforehand... I'm actually quite surprised at what my little boy can take when it comes to scares in a movie; interestingly, he doesn't seem to like Toy Story 3's darker parts... Go figure! Still, if you liked Coraline, Monster House, etc, get this one too! cool.gif
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranteacher View Post

Just wanted to add a late post to say I love this movie. Got it in 3D and it too is fabulous! (Funny you didn't get to review the 3D, Lee.) My youngest is 4-soon-to-be-5 and he keeps rewatching it! (Same thing with Frankenweenie, for that matter.) Though, Lee's right, do mind your own little one's sensibilities beforehand... I'm actually quite surprised at what my little boy can take when it comes to scares in a movie; interestingly, he doesn't seem to like Toy Story 3's darker
parts... Go figure! Still, if you liked Coraline, Monster House, etc, get this one too! cool.gif

My 5 yr old enjoys in the living room tv but not in the home theatre as its too dark.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

My 5 yr old enjoys in the living room tv but not in the home theatre as its too dark.

Nice of you to share that, Frank! I'd just like to add that I find it exciting that one can truly relate with their own little ones' fears through the enjoyment of watching movies; it's kind of like, you feel you can help them cope, while sharing a common hobby, eh? Really cool! cool.gif
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranteacher View Post

Nice of you to share that, Frank! I'd just like to add that I find it exciting that one can truly relate with their own little ones' fears through the enjoyment of watching movies; it's kind of like, you feel you can help them cope, while sharing a common hobby, eh? Really cool! cool.gif

I agree smile.gif
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