ParaNorman (2012) Movie Review

ParaNorman (2012) Poster

ParaNorman (2012)

2012 | PG | Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure, Family, Animation
92 minutes / 1h 32min

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ParaNorman Plot Synopsis:

In the town of Blithe Hollow, Norman Babcock is a boy who can speak to the dead, but no one besides his eccentric new friend, Neil, believes his ability is real. One day, Norman's estranged eccentric uncle tells him of an important annual ritual he must take up to protect the town from a curse cast by a witch it condemned centuries ago. Eventually, Norman decides to cooperate, but things don't go according to plan. Now, a magic storm of the witch threatens Blithe Hollow as the accursed dead rise. Together with unexpected new companions, Norman struggles to save his town, only to discover the horrific truth of the curse. With that insight, Norman must resolve the crisis for good as only he can.

ParaNorman (2012) Review

ParaNorman (2012) is a 1h 32-min PG American 3D stop-motion animated comedy adventure horror film that was brilliant in almost every possible way. Directors Chris Butler (Coraline (2009), Corpse Bride (2005), Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)) and Sam Fell (Flushed Away (2006), The Tale of Despereaux (2008), Pop (1996)) have done a marvelous job creating this classic movie that my entire family enjoys. Chris Butler did an incredible writing the screenplay for this film which had been seen many times by my children. My were patiently but anxiously waiting for ParaNorman to be released after they saw the trailer, and they were blown away by how wickedly awesome and creepy the movie was.

ParaNorman revolves around Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee (Voice) - The Road (2009), Let Me In (2010), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)) who is a little boy that can see and talk to the dead. He was an outcast at school and at home where the kids in school would write things on his locker, so he keeps a rag and spray in his locker to wipe away the hurtful things the kids wrote. His father, Perry (Jeff Garlin - WALL·E (2008), Toy Story 3 (2010), Daddy Day Care (2003)) and sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air (2009), Into the Woods (2014), Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)) thinks he is weird. His mother, Sandra (Leslie Mann - Knocked Up (2007), 17 Again (2009), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Rio (2011)) thinks that Norman is odd but is sympathetic towards him. Norman’s grandmother (Elaine Stritch - One Life to Live (1968), Autumn in New York (2000), Monster-in-Law (2005)) is dead but loves and watches over Norman.

Norman keeps to himself so his only friends are the dead that no one else can see. I would have probably thought that Norman was weird as well because imagine seeing young men walking down the street talking to people who you cannot see. Mr. Prenderghast (John Goodman - Monsters, Inc. (2001), Roseanne (1988-1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), Argo (2012)) has been following Norman unknowing to Norman. Prenderghast is more of an outcast than Norman is, but he has an evil plan in hand that he needs Norman to help him execute which involves a witch’s curse on the town and zombies. Norman tries his hardest to be left alone but eventually makes a few friends.

One of my favorite scene that has a lot of meaning is when Norman tells Neil that he can play with his dog Bub although he cannot see him. Neil picks up the stick and starts playing fetch with Bub which made Norman realize that just the idea of Neil playing with his dog is enough to make him happy, and it is nothing to be ashamed of which humanizes Norman a little bit.

The character models could not have been any better as well as the stop motion which appears old school but flowed smoothly. ParaNorman is one of the best entertaining animated films that I have ever seen and to make it all the better, it gives some pretty good laughs, scares, and screams in equal amounts. All of the voice actors did a fantastic job with their voice acting which was absolutely spot on perfect, and the musical score along with the amazing production design that paid close attention to details was excellent. There was an extra scene after the credits roll that had nothing to do with the movie will make you care for Norman all the more.

  • ParaNorman Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 8
  • Overall Score: 7.76
  • IMDB: 7.0
  • MetaCritic: 7.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 8.7

About ParaNorman 2012

Title: ParaNorman
Year: 2012
Runtime: 92 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure, Family, Animation
Reviewer: Score: 4 / 5 stars Avg. Rating: 3.88/5 stars from 84,373 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 84,373 MPAA Rating: PG
ParaNorman Cast Starring: John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Jodelle Ferland, Ashley Lambert, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Bernard Hill, Edie Mirman, Lara Cody, Bridget Hoffman, David Zyler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Eddie Frierson, Nicholas Guest, Kirk Baily, Rif Hutton, David Cowgill, Steve Alterman, Casey Affleck, Donna Lynn Leavy, Cam Clarke, Kelsey Rootenberg, Jack Blessing, Joshua Stern, Ranjani Brow, David Kunze, Michael Corbett, Joaquim Guedes, Jacob Bertrand, Emily Hahn, Liz Bolton
ParaNorman Writers: NA
ParaNorman Director: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Box Office: $55,994,557
Production: Focus Features
Language: English
Country: USA