(2012)

Critic Reviews

72

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
It's freakishly funny, suddenly tender, gleefully macabre, genuinely scary, and full of a moral - fear turns weak people into bullies - which is dosed out so gently that it never tastes like medicine.
88
ParaNorman is probably the year's most visually dazzling movie so far, and the stunning climax centering on an 11-year-old witch (Jodelle Ferland) is too good to spoil.
88
Norman is the "freak" bullied and ostracized and otherwise degraded by the alive-and-well crowd. Such is the outcast fate of most heroes in the best children's tales. And ParaNorman, a ghoulishly delightful exercise in stop-motion animation, is a very good children's tale indeed.
88
It's not warm and fuzzy, but for kids who comprehended "Coraline" and babysitters who savored "The Corpse Bride," this stop-motion marvel from some of the same animators is like an early Halloween treat.
80
It may be the most fun you'll have with ghosts and zombies all year.
75
The story may be thin, but the project, a feat of stop-motion animation, is made with generous care by the same impressive LAIKA studio artists who conjured up the gorgeous "Coraline."
75
My advice? Just go with ParaNorman. There's magic in it.
75
As for Butler's screenplay, it's less beguiling than preachy.
75
This wryly funny take on the classic ghost story, with its tributes to horror thrillers from "Halloween" to "Friday the 13th" and rich cast of characters, has distinctive Tim Burton-esque visuals, and a welcome dearth of potty humor.
75
What works about ParaNorman is its subtle interweave of the stoical and the heroic. The voice work is inspired, without a lot of theatrical flourish. The low-key musical score by Jon Brion, one of the year's best, teases out the macabre humor in each new challenge faced by Norman.
50
ParaNorman is an amusing but only fitfully involving animated caper.
40
The 12-year-old boys who go to see ParaNorman - and who are the only ones who might enjoy it - should double up on the sugary treats to stay awake during this gorgeous-looking but zombi-fied stop-motion animated creep show. It's as slow as a corpse, and half as interesting.

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