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ParaNorman, Credit: LAIKA, Inc.

Popcorn Rating


Movie Info


PG for scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude humor and language


Animation, Comedy, Horror


August 17, 2012


The voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Bernard Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse


Chris Butler, Sam Fell


Focus Features

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Review: ParaNorman

Movieguide Magazine - Norman Babcock, an 11-year-old boy who sees and talks with the dead, has to save the town in the animated movie ParaNorman. ParaNorman honors the dark supernatural world and the occult with a low quality budget geared toward preteen children. 

Norman is thought of as strange. In fact, the whole town rejects him because he talks to dead people. To Norman, the dead seem so real, including his grandmother who speaks with him often and gives him advice. Just as Norman is teased by the middle school bully, Alvin, Neil is also teased for being overweight. Building a friendship, Norman and Neil start to connect. This doesn’t stop Norman from going into visions of dark worlds and seeing ghosts. 

One night, Norman’s parents are out of the house, and his older sister, Courtney, is supposed to be watching him. Norman’s dead uncle, Mr. Prenderghast, directs him to speak to the town witch and stop her from destroying the town. Going to the wrong grave, Norman lets zombies out, and they start to haunt the town. Picking up Alvin the bully along the way, his sister, Neil, and Neil’s brother, the group has to figure out how to stop the zombies from plaguing the city and stop the witch from completely destroying it. 

ParaNorman has an underline message that it’s OK to be different, even if that deals with talking to the dead. The things looked down upon are anger, putting pain upon people and being unforgiving. Otherwise, however, the dark occult world is seen as OK to tamper with and to embrace. MOVIEGUIDE® highly cautions children from going to see ParaNorman, not just because the movie is scary but because of the pro-occult content. 

ParaNorman is done in stop-motion animation. The quality itself is not the best. It feels low budget; and the storyline is exceptionally politically correct. 

There are many cautionary elements in ParaNorman for children, including very scary scenes, crude commentary, rebellious children and tampering with the occult. The movie also shows parents in a negative light. Of course, according to the Bible, witchcraft and talking to dead people are signs of rebellion against God, so there’s a sort of evil logic to the movie’s negative depiction of parents.

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NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.

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