ParaNorman appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. From start to finish, the image looked great.
At no point did sharpness falter. The movie always presented crisp, concise visuals, and I discerned nary a hint of softness.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and I saw no signs of edge enhancement either. Outside of intentional “defects” at the start, print flaws weren’t a problem as the movie lacked any specks, marks or other concerns.
In terms of colors, the film opted for a fairly orange and teal impression. These tones suited the story and appeared well-rendered.
Black levels looked terrific, as the movie always demonstrated deep, rich tones. Contrast was excellent, and shadows also appeared smooth and appropriately delineated. Across the board, this became an appealing image.
While not quite as strong, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of ParNorman also worked well. Because the movie didn’t feature a lot of slam-bang action, I didn’t expect a lively soundfield. However, the five speakers filled out the room well and added a lot to the package.
The score presented solid stereo imaging in the front and also meshed to the rears with good involvement. Some isolated dialogue came from the various speakers, and effects added a nice sense of the surroundings.
The elements cropped up in all the appropriate locations and formed a vivid feel throughout the flick. The smattering of more active sequences used the spectrum to positive effect and worked very well.
Audio quality was satisfying. Speech seemed natural and crisp, with no edginess or issues connected to intelligibility.
Music was bold and dynamic. The score presented nice oomph and showed fine clarity, and effects were similarly well-defined.
Those elements sounded accurate and vivid at all times. This was a solid soundtrack that added to the film.
We find a good array of extras here, and these start with an audio commentary from writer/director Chris Butler and director Sam Fell. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, design and visual choices, animation and technical areas, inspirations, cast and performances, music and related topics.
Expect a pretty strong overview of the production from Butler and Fell. They cover a good array of subjects and do so in a lively, informative manner that allows this to become a useful commentary.
Under Preliminary Animatic Sequences, we get three segments with a total time of nine minutes, nine seconds. These let us view rough versions of the various scenes. They’re fun to see as early takes.
We can watch these with or without commentary from Butler and Fell. They let us know about the scenes and the work involved. Their remarks add value.
A nine-part documentary called Peering Through the Veil spans a total of 40 minutes, 49 seconds with notes from Butler, Fell, lead animator Travis Knight, production designer Nelson Lowry, assistant art director/head of set dressing Robert DeSue, character fabrication supervisor Georgina Hayns, armature designer Jeremy Spake, head of armature Jeanne R. McIvor, lead hair and fur fabricator Jill Penney, head of hair and fur fabrication Jessica Lynn, costume design supervisor Deborah Cook, fabrication design lead Kingman Gallagher, fabrication performance lead Morgan Hay, replacement animation and engineering Brian McLean, animation rigging supervisor Oliver Jones, lead animation rigger Brian Addison Elliot, animators Justin Rasch and Jason Stalman, animation supervisor Brad Schiff, 2D effects animator Susanna Luck, visual effects supervisor Brian Van’t Hul, production illustrator Ean McNamara, 2D facial animator David Vandervoort, replacement animation and engineering Brian McLean, and actors Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Tucker Albrizzi, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Leslie Mann.
“Veil” looks at location inspirations and the film’s constructed sets, character/location design, cast and performances, puppets and animation. “Veil” goes a little fluffy at times, but the discussion of the stop-motion techniques and execution works very well and makes this a strong show.
Under Featurettes, we get seven short clips with a total time of 14 minutes, 53 seconds. Across these, we hear from Butler, Fell, Knight, Penney, Hayns, Mann, Stalman, DeSue, Kendrick, Cook, assistant to the producer Laura Merton, actors Jeff Garlin, Alex Borstein and Tempestt Bledsoe, puppet wrangler Alicia Cortes, director of photography Tristan Oliver, and mold maker Mattzilla Duron.
In these, we learn a little about the filmmakers’ childhoods as well as inspirations and visual montages. After the depth of “Veil”, the featurettes feel light, but they come with some fun moments.
The disc opens with ads for The Lorax, ET the Extra--Terrestrial and Bring It On: The Musical. No trailer for ParaNorman appears here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of ParaNorman. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Darker than most animated films, ParaNorman feels fairly average for its first two-thirds. However, it springs to life in its final act, a factor that ultimately leaves it as a pretty good movie. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals, very good audio and a fairly useful set of supplements. ParaNorman ends up as a mostly engaging tale.