SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The makers of the animated tale "ParaNorman" like to think of their film in terms of odd combinations. Horror and comedy. John Carpenter meets John Hughes.

Or, as writer-director Chris Butler told a crowd Friday at the Comic-Con fan convention, a "zombie movie for kids."

Opening Aug. 17, "ParaNorman" tells the story of a boy whose ability to talk to the dead makes him the best hope to save his town after a witch's curse raises an army of zombies. The voice cast includes Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

"ParaNorman" was the third supernatural animated comedy previewed at Comic-Con, along with Adam Sandler's monster mash-up "Hotel Transylvania" and Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie," his animated story of a boy who raises his dog from the dead.