Oregon's Laika stop-motion studio is kind-of making a name for itself as the go-to guys for family-friendly fantasies that mix the scary and the funny in perfect proportion. In their latest, ParaNorman, a young boy with gift for seeing the various and sundry spirits that are haunting his small, New England town is saddled with the responsibility of saving his neighbors from a centuries-old witch's curse. For the kid, that'll mean confrontations with kibitzing ghosts, lumbering zombies, and a vast, ominous, and all-destroying cloud of malevolence. For the audience, it means a supremely stunning and innovative foray into 3D animation, and a fitting follow-up to the studio's Coraline.
At this point, it stands as my favorite animated film of the year, and I was excited to get a chance to talk with its directors, Sam Fell and Chris Butler. Click on the player button to hear the conversation (or right-click to download).