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ParaNorman: A Movie Review

We are definitely a movie family! Will and I go to the movies quite often and our kids are big movie nuts as well, so I’ll try to do a movie review at least once a month. The other night I took the night off from working at the BR (ballroom) and took the kids to see ParaNorman. (photo curtousy of paranorman.com)

ParaNorman is a touching story about a boy who can see ghosts and talk to them. He struggles everyday with the “normal kids”, often gets bullied and has few friends (that are alive). His family struggles to understand him, especially his father who would rather Norman have nothing to do with the ghosts and just be normal. To get a little deeper into the story, the town that they live in is cursed by a witch and as the day of the curse approaches Norman is visited by visions that he struggles to understand and it is up to him to save his town.

Just as the movie Coraline (made by the same folks as ParaNorman), there are some adult references and themes throughout the movie, scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude humor and language, which is why the movie is rated PG. I happen to really like these type of animated movies, Corpse Bride, Coraline, Nightmare Before Christmas all of these movies have similarities in that their characters are zombies, ghosts, witches and monsters. I took my three kids ages 10, 8 and 3 to see ParaNorman. While the older two (especially Simon) liked the movie, William (age 3) thought it was a little scary, especially towards the end when the movie started getting more serious. There was some language throughout the movie that was not really appropriate and a homosexual reference at the end of the movie, which really caught me off guard.

Overall, I really liked the movie. It was funny and had a good message about bullying along with a strong theme about people that are different. There is also a theme about family dynamics and dealings with a struggling father and son relationship.  Being that it was PG I would say that it is appropriate for kids ages 10 and older. I’m really surprised that Avery and William did not have nightmares, they tend to be a little more sensitive to scary movies but they slept fine all night. This is not a Tim Burton movie, but if you like his stuff you will appreciate this movie. The animation was great and the characters were fun especially the zombies.

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