Movie Review: ParaNorman – fun for kids, parents, and zombies

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ParaNorman movie ~ Laika Studio

Two of my kids and I saw a screening of ParaNorman (Laika) last night. Laika is the studio that created Coraline. I enjoyed the movie, and loved the 3D stop-motion animation. My kids loved the movie too and giggled throughout the film. ParaNorman opens in theaters today. Below is a quick summary of the film. Continue reading for the full movie review of ParaNorman.

The 411 for ParaNorman

The story A boy has to stop a witch from raising the dead
Appropriateness for children It’s a fun movie for children, but there are a couple of mildly tense scenes
Positives
  • Lot of laughs
  • Great 3D stop-motion animation effects
  • Witch and zombies storyline
Negative
  • Dragged a little at times
Release date August 17, 2012
Rating Rated PG for scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude humor and language
Runtime 93 minutes
Genre Animation, comedy

It’s all fun and games until someone raises the dead
ParaNorman is about a boy named Norman Babcock. He can see, hear, and talk to the dead. Norman lives in a town with a legend about a witch’s curse. No one really believes in the curse. But then one day, a strange man (Mr. Prenderghast) talks to Norman. The man tells Norman the witch’s curse is real. If the witch’s curse isn’t prevented, the dead will raise from their graves. Then the strange man dies and Norman has to find a way to stop the curse.

From weirdo to hero
Because of his ability to talk to ghosts, Norman is considered a weirdo. Some people even think Norman pretends to talk to ghouls for attention. As a result, Norman lives a somewhat lonely life and is picked on at school. Then the dead raises from the grave and the town people can actually see the zombies. As a result, Norman is no longer considered a freak. In fact, he leads the efforts to break the witch’s curse.

Lot of laughs
I thought ParaNorman was humorous, but my kids laughed hilariously during the film. Actually, they were not the only ones laughing. Many people in the audience also laughed throughout the movie because ParaNorman is one of those movies that will make both children and parents laugh. BTW, most of the humor was targeted at kids. There was very little humor specifically aimed at adults.

John Goodman is the only recognizable voice
ParaNorman featured the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee (Norman Babcock), Tucker Albrizzi (Neil – Norman’s friend), Anna Kendrick (Courtney – Norman’s sister), Casey Affleck (Mitch – Neil’s brother), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Alvin – bully), John Goodman (Mr. Prenderghast), Leslie Mann (Sandra Babcock – Norman’s mom), Jeff Garlin (Perry Babcock – Norman’s dad), Elaine Stritch (Grandma), Bernard Hill (The Judge), Jodelle Ferland (Aggie – the witch), Tempestt Bledsoe (Sheriff Hooper), Alex Borstein (Mrs. Henscher), Hannah Noyes (Salma), and Jack Blessing (Slob Guy and Civil War Ghost). The film was directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell.

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10 thoughts on “Movie Review: ParaNorman – fun for kids, parents, and zombies

  1. Sounds fun. I have to admit the commercials I have seen for it have made me want to see it also. You gotta love zombies.

  2. This movie sounds funny and really cute. I’m sure the kids will love it, and I think I’d enjoy it as well.

  3. My daughter has autism and is scared to see this movie just based on the premise and the fact that there are ghosts. I really hope I can talk her into trying it. It looks fun!

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