Movie Review: ParanNorman

Movie Review: ParanNorman



PG for scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude
humor and language.
Genre: Animated, comedy, sci-fi fantasy, horror, thriller,
action, adventure
 Running Time: 1 hour 39 minutes

When a small town comes under siege by zombies, who can you call? The answer – A misunderstood boy by the name of Norman who is able to talk with the dead. In addition to zombies he also has to take on ghosts, witches – and the worst of all – grown-ups – to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Really? What Those Involved With This Movie Thinking?

While this movie debuted in the number three spot on the box office, it only pulled in $14 million dollars. In my opinion, ParaNorman shouldn’t even be on anyone’s radar – at least in the target audience. Carrying a PG rating and animated those involved in this movie are aiming it at a younger crowd. But the bottom line is this…

ParaNorman is by no means family-friendly!

This movie is so far outside of the realm of family-friendly I would like to know who was paid off inside the MPAA so they could get a PG rating for it in the first place. Let me repeat – ParaNorman is not even close to entering into the category of a family-friendly movie. This is nothing more than an attempt to grab some money from unsuspecting parents. This movie is really nothing more than a bad spoof of the zombie movies and should be Rated R.

Written and directed by Chris Butler, who also has movie credits on Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Henry Selick’s Caroline, needs to take a long look at his career choices with ParaNorman. It’s obvious from the outset of the movie Butler is heavily influenced in his genre choice by those he’s worked with in the past. However, Butler is no Burton or Selick and if this is all he can do, Butler should seriously look at a job change. I’m not saying the movie is a total loss but I am strongly disagreeing with the fact that Butler even remotely thinks his movie is appropriate for family viewing. ParanNorman is an over-the-top horror thriller movie disguised as an animated fun film. Just because something is animated does not mean it is kid-friendly and those involved in the rating process and those involved in the production of this movie should be ashamed of themselves for packaging this movie as an animated flick for kids.

When it comes to voice talent – the pool is rather shallow for ParaNorman too. Again it’s obvious Butler is trying to imitate the likes of Tim Burton, but he lacks the Johnny Depp counter-part. The only real notable voice is that of John Goodman who voices the character of Mr. Prenderghast. Aside from Goodman the long forgotten Tempestt Bledsoe best known for her Cosby TV show days makes a feeble attempt to bring to life the character of Sheriff Hooper. Other than those two notable voices, the others involved in this movie are rather lack-luster.

The bottom line is this – ParaNorman is a spoof of the zombie horror movies gone bad. Those involved simply tried to dumb-down and animate the story line in the hopes of making a movie with a young audience appeal. In so doing, they truly missed the mark and came up with a movie that is not suitable at all for their target audience. If they had stuck with a spoof motif, grabbed an R rating and marketed the movie to the adult zombie-loving-crowd this movie would probably have done much better.

While I do applaud those involved with ParaNorman for an under-current theme of bullying is bad, overall this is a movie probably better left for the DVD pile of “maybe I’ll watch it” one day.

Avoid the show!

Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.