PARANORMAN
2012, Focus Features, 92 min, USA, Dir: Chris Butler, Sam Fell

This horror-comedy hit follows 11-year-old Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a boy whose ability to speak with the dead is doubted by almost all around him. But when his hometown is threatened by an ancient witch, Norman’s unusual power proves crucial. John Goodman, Casey Affleck and Elaine Stritch costar in this Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, which pairs its theme of acceptance for outsiders with state-of-the-art stop-motion techniques (including innovative use of full-color 3-D printers).


FANTASTIC MR. FOX
2009, 20th Century Fox, 87 min, Dir: Wes Anderson

Director Wes Anderson's first animated film is an adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's book. Mr. and Mrs. Fox (voiced by George Clooney and Meryl Streep) live an idyllic home life with son Ash (Jason Schwartzman), but the bucolic existence proves too much for Mr. Fox. When he slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief, he ends up endangering the whole animal community.


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