ParaNorman is a 2012 American stop-motion animated dark fantasy comedy horror film directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler (in his feature directorial debut), and written by Butler. In the small town of Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts, Norman Babcock is an 11-year-old boy who speaks with the dead, including his late grandmother and various ghosts in town. Almost no one believes him and he is isolated emotionally from his family while being ridiculed by his peers. His best friend, Neil Downe, is an overweight boy who is bullied himself and finds in Norman a kindred spirit. After rehearsing a school play commemorating the town's execution of a witch three centuries ago, the boys are confronted by Norman's estranged and seemingly deranged uncle, Mr. Prenderghast, who tells his nephew that he soon must take up his regular ritual to protect the town. Soon after this encounter, Mr. Prenderghast dies of a heart attack. That night Mr. Prenderghast's spirit comes back and tells Norman that he needs to perform the same ritual that he always performed to help keep the town safe. Reluctant to perform the ritual Norman does not do so correctly, and the spirits of three dead witches rise from the grave and bring back to life to zombies of all of the deceased. Norman must now team up with his friends to save the town from the curse of the witches.