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Reviews & Ratings for
ParaNorman More at IMDbPro »

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Index 176 reviews in total 

Great messages, but not subtle.

Author: samaa_moosa
31 January 2014

Funny one-liners. Great messages and sociological commentary on human nature, prejudice, mob mentalities, fear, trauma, and common human experiences.

However, the plot and the script were forced- they were too on the nose. Perhaps this movie is better for children as they generally can't pick up on nuances or symbolism; but for an adult, being spoon-fed the message, instead of being able to extrapolate it or come to your own conclusions on what lessons to learn from a story is simply not as fun. What's fun is when you have an aha moment, or a revelation, and you're part of the creative and philosophical process. So unfortunately, despite the great messages- ones I agree with- I still found that continuing to watch an animated lecture/sermon was tedious.

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The Real Reasons Zombies Exist

Author: Thomas Fackler from United States
10 November 2013

I watch a wide variety of animation with my family and always enjoy it when a movie brings a different feel to the screen. I was a bit trepidatious at the opening scene because the animation style combined with the darker content had the potential to be a bit scary. My 10- year-old, who happens to be a fan of zombies, was up to it though.

The film mixes a variety of historical contexts with the recurring moral difficulties of our social existence. It does this with just the right amount of slapstick woven with seriousness to maintain the thread nearly to the end. The last bits of the movie unravel a bit while wrapping up the antagonisms. The thread of slapstick/seriousness separates, but the ending still has a great point to get across: "Don't become a zombie!"

There is plenty in Paranorman to keep the family interested and even provide for discussion following. The movie is easy to follow and fun to watch.

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A good animation that doesn't assume children as morons

Author: siderite from Romania
4 November 2013

I hesitated watching Paranorman because it seemed to be one of those silly 3D animations movies which only entertain via, well, animation and silliness. I am glad to say that it was not quite so. Yeah, some of the scenes are meant to amuse by situational comedy and the weird faces or voices of the animated characters, but the story is remarkably serious, even if delivered in a carefree manner. It is a kid movie after all.

Don't go expecting some Shakespearean drama, but it is intriguing to me how big budget real actor movies seem to become dumber and dumber while animations such as these, created presumably for children, become more and more subtle and smart. Actually I am trying to imagine this film done with real actors and I can't. It would be weird in any case, but as an animated feature it somehow works.

The story revolves around a little boy who can see and interact with ghosts. Naturally he is made fun of and bullied on a regular basis. However he remains the same nice kid throughout the film and that is what the plot is really about. His grandmother's words seem to sum it all up: "There's nothing wrong with being scared, so long as you don't let it change who you are".

The film remains resolutely positive in feeling up to the end, even when the subjects approached are mob mentality, hysterical fear and the killing of children by said fearful mob. There are issues with it, of course, like what happened to all the ghosts that Norman saw in the beginning. The movie starts with him moving out of his way to avoid the plethora of ghosts in his path, but then they conveniently disappear, except for the ones directly related to the script. Overall, though, I thought it was a nice film.

What I especially enjoyed was the effort spent adding complexity to what initially seemed classic clichéd characters: the dumb blond cheerleader who cares of nothing but herself assumes the role of protective sister, the school bully is not as bad as it seemed and the muscle head... well, you'll see. Just so you know that I appreciate any film that shows children that people are more than just a label.

Bottom line: a young kid film, but one done right, so much so that even an adult can thoroughly enjoy it.

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A great puppet style animation mixed with some cool CGI

Author: ronaldo_matrix from India
10 February 2013

This is definitely the best animation of the year by far. Some cool puppet animation with some great CGI I have seen in a while. This one is definitely not small kids because it will creep the hell out of them. Its pitched for Teenage-cum-adults segment. I am really amazed how this movie got away with PG 13 rating. We got another great movie from the makers of "Coraline" and this one definitely as interesting as was Coraline if not better. All the things about this movie are just perfect, be it sound effects or 3D which is the best I have seen in an animation movie. I only have one problem with the movie that it loses it grip in between but as soon as you realize it again picks up and ends in a memorable roller coaster ride. It is just the perfect movie if it had come at Halloween.

I definitely recommend this movie to those who are interested in something more than animation with some great adult humour.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An animated film for kids that isn't just toilet humor and annoying singing animals

Author: gasmaskproductionsbooks ( from Canada
2 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Most animated movies treat kids as though they are lazy, moronic vegetables who are too young to understand anything. That's why movies like Frozen, Madagascar and Despicable Me are filling cinemas (along with all the tacky merchandise from said movies filling stores). It's great to finally see an animated movie for kids that has some depth to it. The main character is Norman, a misfit boy who can see ghosts - but this movie isn't a horror film, it's written for kids and it's all played out in a lighthearted, comedic way. Poor Norman is the laughingstock of his school, but he does have a close friendship with Neil, an overweight boy who often has words like "fatty" spray-painted on his locker. Together they discover a curse on the town going back a few centuries, a curse that could bring zombies loose upon the town, and together they try to put a stop to it with the help of Norman's barbie-like older sister Courtney and Neil's jock older brother, Mitch.

Everything about this movie is original and inspires kids to be themselves and not care what other people think of them. It carries a powerful anti-bullying message but still manages to be incredibly funny and is entertaining for all ages, adults included. It's nice to see a movie that isn't all just unicorns and dinosaurs and flowers and dragons either, kids can watch creepy things too without getting scared, and ParaNorman is creepy for kids but not enough to give them nightmares or terrify them to death. Hopefully ParaNorman will inspire other animation companies to follow in its footsteps and get out of the slump the film industry is in right now.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A surprisingly warm follow-on to the Salem Witch Trials

Author: Jonny 99 from United States
7 October 2013

300 years ago the good Puritans of Blythe Hollow executed a young girl for witchcraft. She didn't take to kindly to it. This surprisingly warm story deals with one boy's, who if this were a live action movie would have been played by Jonny Depp, psychic connection to her - he sees dead people to turn a phrase. Some of the movie peddles in cliché' - all of the village hates him because he's weird, he's befriended by the fat kid who is also bullied and his sister is precisely the same older sister character found in TV's "Fairly Odd Parents." But although the characters are stock, the movie's approach to the politics of the undead are original with some of the zombies turning out to be penitent over their false imprisonment and euthanization of a little girl. The titular character Norman ultimately fights none of the zombies or even the girl who is bent on revenge but counsels and negotiates a truce with them. This should not be read that the precedings lack action as the village winds up fairly well wrecked. A little comedy gets thrown in to the mix resulting in a concoction that has a place in your Halloween season movie watching although probably not a premier spot. In short, a good ghool movie for the younger set with a decent moral message.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good stop-motion and Good story

Author: SnoopyStyle
27 August 2013

Chris Butler wrote and directed this stop-motion animation movie. He is best known as the art director of Coraline (2009) and Corpse Bride 2005). Certainly you get the same style of animation in this one as well.

Norman Babcock is a lonely boy who can speak to the dead, but only his new friend Neil believes him. The town is in fact under a curse casted by a witch centuries ago. Now, Norman and his friends must save the town.

This is a simple outsider must save the day story. It does get dark dealing with death later on. It might be a tough watch for the little ones. It works out fine in the end. It's a good ghost story if the kids can take it.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's Good, But a Little Too Predictable

Author: user-543-975655 from Earth
18 July 2013

I watched this movie last week, and I have to say, I don't think it deserved a 72%. Let's start at the beginning. It was not very good. A dead grandma, who isn't ghostly at all, a dad that looks like his gut is way too big for someone twice his size, and a boy who has hair that won't stay down, and is obsessed with death and zombies. It did have it's laughs, however. The middle was a lot better. It had laughs, was realistic, and wasn't too over the top, yet not boring. The end was a little less funny, and really dark. Also, it was unrealistic. It probably wasn't supposed to be, but it was still pretty weird. What kind of zombies talk? But negativity aside, let's focus on the positive things. It did clever parodies of famous slasher movies like Scream, Halloween, and Friday the 13th. It had some actual minor jump scenes too, but you'll have to watch it for yourself. The zombies were funny, and did do their part to make the film funny, They were also a little bit cliché. Jeff Garlin was funny also as Perry Babcock (Norman's Dad). Leslie Mann was also good as her part, Sandra Babcock (Norman's Mom). I also think it's good for Christopher Mintz-Plasse to take a break from all of those dirty Rated-R movies that he's usually in. All the acting for other characters was very good as well. By the end, I was a little depressed instead of really happy comedy fun-time.

Overall, I give this movie a 6/10 because it was funny, but very dark.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

EDIT ! EDIT ! Edit!

Author: ptb-8 from Australia
12 July 2013

Why is this gorgeous and entertaining TEDIOUS film 20 too minutes long? I just watched it on blu ray and while it is an astounding visual experience, it also becomes a tedious and annoying one because of the rambling and repetitive visual storyline. Now I do not want to see it again. PARANORMAN is terrific for the first third; the second third is OK then..... diversions, everyone having their BIG screen 3D moment in creativity, then... what was the story again... then back to something... then they sling a few more jokes, then magically Mommy and Sis re-appear... then what the hell am I watching again...? If ever a clever but meanadering film needed to be 73 minutes instead of 93 this is it. Dumbo was 61 minutes... LEARN from that digi kids!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Funny bits but not a compelling film

Author: order-27 from San Jose, CA
26 May 2013

The animation was nifty, the humor was funny without being gross, but somehow it just wasn't a compelling film. Watched it at home rather than in the theater, and I didn't want at any time to turn it off and stop watching, although I wouldn't have minded if it had been turned off, but still it left me flat. Some of the characters and their activities seemed irrelevant to the film (Norman's sister, the kid who befriends Norman, that kid's older brother, and the bully, for example), as if the filmmakers were trying to fill time. The resolution was weak. It wasn't a terrible way to spend an evening with friends eating popcorn, but not a great way, either; there are a lot of better choices.

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