Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paranorman and Hocus Pokus

The current release Paranorman is about a boy who can see the dead. As if this wasn't enough of a burden, he finds out that only he can stop a witch from returning and taking vengeance on the town that executed her three hundred years earlier.

While there are some major differences (one is stop-motion and the other is live-action) there are a lot of similarities between this movie and 1993's Hocus Pocus. Here are some of the similarities and differences. I'll warn before I get to the major spoilers.

Both movies feature a boy who feels like an outcast.

Paranorman - Norman talks to people who are invisible to everyone else.
Hocus Pocus - Max just moved to Salem from California

Both heroes have a sister he does not get along with but who joins him in the adventure.

Paranorman - an older sister
Hocus Pocus - a younger sister

Both towns have a witch (or witches) who were executed three hundred years ago and who have returned. The towns celebrate the witches and even teach about them in school.

In both movies the hero is bullied in school. Later the bully/bullies encounter the witch(s).

Paranorman has a school play about the witch trial.
Hocus Pocus includes the witches in history class.

In both movies the witch(s) return along with zombie(s).

Paramorman - one witch, multiple zombies.
Hocus Pucus - three witches, one zombie.

In both movies, the action takes place on the anniversary of the witch's execution but this is actually a bit of a red herring. In both movies, the witch(s) return happens because of external events.

Paranorman - incomplete instructions on how to keep the witch from rising
Hocus Pocus - a virgin lights the magic black candle.

In both movies it is up to a small group of kids to stop the witch.

In both movies, the zombies lose one or more limbs which is mainly an inconvenience.

In both movies the witch hates to be called ugly.

Paranorman - the manifestation of the witch destroys several ugly witch statues and other representations.
Hocus Pocus - Winifred goes out of her way to try to kill anyone who calls her ugly.

------------ spoilers -------------

In both movies the zombies are not as bad as you first expect.

Paranorman - the dead are brought back to punish them for convicting an innocent of witchcraft.
Hocus Pocus - Billy the Zombie always hated Winifred and turns against her as soon as he can talk.

No comments: