The more I see of Focus Features ParaNorman, the more excited I am to actually see the movie. And I've heard nothing but good things about it from people who have seen the 3D stop-motions animated film, which arrives in theaters next weekend. It looks fun. There are zombies. And based on the behind-the-scenes videos we've seen, a lot of patience and effort went into making it.

Produced by Laika, the stop-motion animation studio that made Coraline, ParaNorman follows a kid named Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who has the ability to communicate with the dead. This skill becomes especially useful when a witch's curse threatens to destroy his down. Last month, Yahoo shared a behind-the-scenes look at the film, which focused on the laborious efforts of Laika in hand-making the ParaNorman world. Yahoo's latest video touches on that a little bit, but the primary focus seems to be on the inspiration for the film's format. And we also get a few glimpses at the movie.

Featured in the video below is producer/lead animator Travis Knight, director Sam Fell, writer/director Chris Butler, and star Kodi Smit-McPhee.

"It's basically the story of effectively at everyone at Laika," Knight says. "We were all kind of the weird kid. We were outcasts and misfits - people that didn't quite fit in with the cool kids. But at the same time, like Norman, when given the opportunity, we can actually contribute something special to the world."

ParaNorman definitely looks like it has the potential to be something special. It certainly sounds like the creators of this film connected with the lead character, with talk of being the "weird kid" or "misfit" mentioned in the video. A big part of the film's appeal (besides zombies) is that it seems clear that Norman stands out for his unusual ability. As someone who may have occasionally spoke in movie quotes during her own youth, I'll admit I can relate to this on some level, though I expect Norman's skill is a bit more useful in a potentially apocalyptic scenario.

ParaNorman arrives in theaters August 17. More information, photos and videos can be found in our Blend Film Database.

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