ParaNorman Is Shockingly Normal – Movie Review
Laika (the producing company for the film) & Focus Feature’s film ParaNorman is a fun take on horror films and the current zombie craze of this decade. It also takes a humorous and family friendly view of that, which makes it a good choice for an early Halloween flick for a family to see. The movie follows fictional tween Norman, who sees ghosts at the dismay of his family. He doesn’t deny it and still talks to his ghost friends, including his grandmother. Through his ghost friends, he learns of an upcoming zombie uprising because of a “witch” who died in their town and she put a curse on them. Norman tries to ignore the message for his parents sake, despite of being the only one who can break the curse. So what Norman do? Break it or let the curse unfold in his town? That is left up to him and what he chooses to do may surprise some!
First of all let me say, Focus Feature’ did a great job promoting the movie. They even released a line of collector edition action figures and sent me one for me to look at. HuckleBerry toys released the line and the one that I received was the Norman one. It appears that they were also at the ComicCom 2012 in San Diego. The replica is good and durable, but also easy enough to connect Norman to the stand. I also love how they managed to create ever small detail, including the skull on his backpack. It was a job well done. I think it’s a cute toy and a nice reminder of the movie. They did a good job with a fair share of TV spots and online ads. As for the movie as a whole, I did enjoy it and find it funny. While I will say some things were not maybe the most kid friendly (something that I will go into more detail about down below), it was good enough to see as a family. So lets get right into the details.
Animation is always a big deal when it comes to animated films and this one was no exception. I love that it looked realistic yet visibly animated at the same time. Many of today’s animated films don’t have the cartoon like quality to them and this one still had that feeling to it. The human characters looked exactly like humans, only in cartoon form and the zombies/ghost. I don’t feel like they were scary looking at all, and I didn’t hear any kids scream, which is always a good sign! So I think they did a good job on that and achieving that. Now I do want to point out that some scenes might be considered gruesome by some, like zombie body parts by an example. But I don’t think that is something that will bother many kids or parents, though I will say that each parent should be the judge of that.
Plot wise, I love it. They had humor in it, like when Neil scared him in the hockey mask outside. It was an ode to the classic Halloween franchise, which I think most adults will enjoy. But I also find that they do have humor kids can enjoy, like when Neil was kissing his ghost dog’s wrong end. So it has a wide advantage of humor that everyone can enjoy, even if some might find some of it not appropriate. However, I will stand by the fact that most movies feature that today and this one was still light on that side. So I don’t see any reason to pick on it for that reason and that reason alone. Now I will say that I find the winning point of the movie is the positive message that it shares. Basically no matter who or what you are, you should be treated with respect and kindness. It is basically a good anti-bully message that we can all get behind, if you ask me.
Not on to the characters, I really liked all of them-even though Norman and Neil were my favorites. They did the most work on the movie and they were just likable. Neil was a great friend who has a big heart, which I think helped Norman a lot. But as a whole, I think all of them were wonderful. Even the bullies were humorous and seemed to finally learn the underlying message. I think the actors did a good job with the voices and personalities, which is the goal for them. I don’t think they could have done a better job, especially the actors who voiced the zombies. They went above and beyond! I sort of hope for a sequel of the movie.
Now lets talk about what every parent wants to know, target age group. I think kids as young as 6 would enjoy it and that it could be safe enough for them to watch. But below 6 years of age, parents should consider watching it before their kids do. However, I think as long as a whole kids know that the movie is just a movie and see the humor in it, it will be fine. It honestly is one of the better movies from today, which says a lot in my eyes. I doubt anyone can find anything wrong with the movie, so I think we can say that as a whole it is a solid family one with some age restrictions.
Rating wise, I give it a 7.5. It was a solid movie that I did enjoy and planning to buy. It was a nice and early Halloween treat by far. I am hoping for a sequel, even though I am not sure where the story leaves room for that. Everyone from the zombies to Norman did a great job It is hard not to smile when I think about the movie, which is a good sign. It brought out a lot of laughs collectively and that says a lot about a family film. It will hopefully do well in terms of sales, but I have faith that it will since it is such a good film.
Now it is up to you to tell us what you think! Was it cute or boring? I think we can get a fun conversation going on about ParaNorman and find out just in general on how well the movie turned out to the masses. I already made my point, but I want to hear others. It could help to cause a future sequel or squash it. So please share what you thought down below in the comments!