Animated Adventure Comedy - While an animated feature aimed generally at a family audience, this
is a horror comedy that has a lot of scary moments and images that
could be far too intense for young children, not to mention there is
some mature humor (including a gay joke) that could be of concern to
parents. Young adult males, particularly those interested in horror
films, are the best target audience.
PROFANITY: A few miscellaneous profanities. SEX/NUDITY: None. VIOLENCE: Falls, hits, fights. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: None. ACTION: Chases and fights. COMEDY: Banter, wisecracks, dark humor, sight gags, a gay joke.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 34 moviegoers:
CHILDREN:Three-quarters of them loved "Paranorman." Most of the rest enjoyed it very much, rating it above average. A few didn't care for it but I suspect it may have too scary for these kids.
TEENS:The one male enjoyed it but the one female rated it below average.
TWENTYSOMETHINGS:Two of the three females loved it and the other one rated it average.
ADULTS:These aren't great reviews, like you would see on "Toy Story" or "Shrek,"but they are decent for a kids animated movie. Part of the low reviews may be due to the fact that this movie is fairly intense for small children. Seeing so many low reviews from the females (moms likely) I suspect the content is part of the problem.
ParaNorman is set in the town of Blithe Hollow, whose locals profit from mining
history as the site, 300 years ago, of a famous witch hunt. 11-year-old Norman
Babcock (voiced by
Kodi Smit-McPhee of Let Me In and The Road) spends much of his days appreciating
points of scary movies and studying ghost lore. In fact, Norman is gifted with
the ability to see and
speak with the dead, such as his beloved grandmother (Elaine Stritch). Most
days, he prefers their
company to that of his flustered father (Jeff Garlin), spacey mother (Leslie
Mann), and deeply
superficial older sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick). At middle school, Norman
dodges bullying Alvin
(Christopher Mintz-Plasse), confides in the impressionable Neil (Tucker
Albrizzi), and tries to tune
out his blowhard teacher Mrs. Henscher (Alex Borstein).
Norman is unexpectedly contacted by his odd uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman),
who floors him
with the revelation that a centuries-old witch's curse is real and is about to
come true, and that only
Norman will be able to stop it from going into overdrive and harming the
townspeople. Once a
septet of zombies - led by The Judge (Bernard Hill) - suddenly rises from their
finds himself caught in a wild race against time alongside Courtney, Alvin,
Neil, and Neil's
musclebound older brother Mitch (Casey Affleck) as Sheriff Hooper (Tempestt
them all. Worse, the town is up in arms and taking up arms.
Norman bravely summons up all that makes a hero - courage and compassion - as he
paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.