ParaNorman comes to 4K with Dolby Vision HDR in a SteelBook case that looks incredible. The Dolby Atmos mix is dazzling and the new artwork of the SteelBook is wonderful. The extras aren't brand new, but all have been imported over from the previous recent release, all of which are worth watching. This is Highly Recommended!
In 2012, filmmakers Sam Fell and Chris Butler struck a chord with the genre crowd with their new and original film ParaNorman which brought zombies to a family-friendly story. The film went on to win numerous awards and was even nominated for an Oscar, but was beaten by the pesky Pixar film that year. It's not surprising that the tone and style are similar to Coraline since both Sam and Chris come from either that particular film or similar ones, but ParaNorman is a different and exciting beast of its own.
Even ten years later, ParaNorman is a brilliant tale about a young boy and his family trying to save their town from zombies and a curse placed on the town years prior. But underneath the undead comedy and horror of it all is a grounded tale about a young boy who must tackle and face his fears of growing up and learning to be responsible while maintaining his ability to talk with the deceased. It's a heartfelt and charming story that has roots in previous stories, but no doubt utilizes an original storyline to get its important messages across. This is a fantastic and unique coming-of-age story with zombies that is unforgettable.
Here are our previous reviews of ParaNorman
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
ParaNorman revives itself on 4K + Blu-ray via Laika and Shout Factory in a glorious-looking Steelbook. The discs are housed inside a hard steelbook case with new artwork that features the animated family escaping the ghouls. The color palette is mostly purple and neon green. There is a booklet inside that features information and an essay on the film.
ParaNorman comes with an exquisite 2160P UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision HDR and it looks simply wonderful and is the best this film has looked thus far. Laika and Shout Factory's team-up has certainly knocked this video presentation out of the park.
The color palette here is more dynamic than even the most recent release, which was also great. The colors are brighter, bolder, and well-balanced in this stylized film. The neon green colors are more intense and reveal different shades of light against black and purple backdrops perfectly. Some of the films have that decaying look of interiors which goes perfectly with the tone of the story, but those rugged colors of pastels and faded white colors look amazing here. The HDR upgrades each of these colors to a more dynamic tone bringing out the best and stronger color palette that this movie deserves.
The black levels are inkier and the skin tones of the clay are natural. The detail is highly vivid and sharp that showcases those individual sculpting lines, textures in the backgrounds, and even Paranorman's spiky hair. It's a highly-detailed film that feels real and this new 4K presentation highlights those elements. There are no problems with banding, aliasing, or heavy noise.
This release comes with a new Dolby Atmos track that sounds flawless. The sound effects are all well-balanced and flow smoothly from one speaker to the next. The supernatural sounds are all dynamic and come with a big force of volume and highs and lows. The sounds of the undead are great and the other big action moments supply a hefty amount of immersion whether it is escaping from peril or utilizing more of the otherwordly noises. Smaller sequences of dialogue and more intimate moments provide the necessary acoustics that sounds perfect.
The height speakers provide a ton of sounds falling from the sky on a consistent basis too. The music always adds to the suspense and thrills of the movie and the dialogue is always clean, clear, and easy to follow. The low end of bass is superb and brings a well-0rounded big rumble in the action scenes without crossing into rocky territory. There are no problems with this Dolby Atmos track and is the best the film has sounded.
There are no new extras here, but all of them have been imported over to this new release and are located solely on the Blu-ray disc of this set. They are all worth watching.
Previous release bonus features:
ParaNorman is a fun, entertaining, and sweet film about growing up and a world of curses and zombies that is fun for the whole family. This new 4K image with HDR looks amazing and the new Dolby Atmos track is phenomenal. There are no new extras, but the booklet and new packaging in the steelbook are excellent. This is the best the film has looked and sounded yet. Highly Recommended!