Movie Review #1- ParaNorman

So, the movie opens with our main protagonist, Norman, watching a zombie flick and talking to his Grandma:

Grandma: what’s happening now?

Norman: Well, the zombie is eating her head, Gramma.

Grandma: That’s not very nice. What’s he doing that for?

Norman: He’s a zombie, and that’s what they do.

Grandma: He’s going to spoil his dinner.

But, well… his grandma is dead. Norman can see all kinds of ghosts. His G-ma, road kill, Revolutionary War soldiers, whoever is around. 

Unsurprisingly, most people think Norman is weird. Super weird. Ultramega weird. This doesn’t improve when Norman has a freak out at the school’s Witch Season play that leaves him screaming “THE DEAD ARE COMING!!!” (for the record, Norman and I would totally have been BFFs)

At home: Norman’s dad thinks he’s too weird for words, his mom doesn’t get it, his sister thinks he’s creepy. And at school: he gets bullied. A lot. Especially by Alvin.

He does have a close friend, named Neal, who gets bullied because he’s chubby. Neal doesn’t worry about it as much, “You can’t stop bullying, it’s human nature,” Neal says, “If you were bigger and more stupid, you’d probably be a bully, too.” Neal’s pretty happy with himself and his one friend.

This seems to take place in the town of “Fake Salem” where a witch’s curse threatens to bring on the zombies. Norman is the only one who can help! However, mob mentality gets in the way. The townsfolk are scared of the zombies, and the witch manifesting in the sky and soon they are taking out their fears on anyone and everyone! 

Norman assembles a rag-tag band of friends to help him save the town from the zombie hoard! And save the zombies from the angry townsfolk!

The animation is fantastic (especially the lightning witch). A cool story, nods to some classic horror, a cheesy anti-bullying message and quick witted quips abound.

Oh, and Neal’s older brother is voiced by Casey Affleck. 

Creepy, quirky cool for the PG crowd. 

4 broom sticks!

8 thoughts on “Movie Review #1- ParaNorman

  1. Good review…what age group is the movie geared to? If it is PG, I assume there are some frightening scenes.that would make it not suitable for young viewers?

    • The general consensus seemed to be 11 and up. Some sites said 8+ (and I’d agree, it’s not gory, there’s no blood. But there are dead people. And it’s a little creepy.) But when I was a kid I was scared of Fraggle Rock but watched the Shining when I was 7 and have no frame of reference. Also, on some ratings, they said it was for older kids because there’s a lot of bullying. But it was anti-bullying and I think they missed the point. The “experts” say 11+ up, though.

    • update- I had posted on facebook that I was watching this and my friend said that’s her 4 year old’s favorite movie. so, it’s pretty subjective 🙂

  2. Thanks Brit…I guess it depends on the maturity of the child also. Wow, you watched the Shining at age 7?? I read the book and was terrified…have never watched the movie because of that!

    • You’re welcome, definitely it’s hard to determine what falls in the “too scary” category for kids, it’s so different. And I did! I checked bathtubs for dead bodies for well over a decade! Terrifying

  3. I saw “Carrie” when I was 7! Maybe it made us weird and that’s why we were friends…
    I saw “ParaNorman” and loved it. You know what I think was the most shocking thing? The portrayal of cops. Pretty subversive.

    • “like” (& yeah, Towards the end when the police chief- who was a Walking Dead rip off- was saying something like, “Oh it wasn’t me, it was everyone else but me” And everyone was saying, “they made me do it.” Total mob mentality, people will do things in groups when they think they won’t be accountable that they would think is monstrous.

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