The Grade Book: “ParaNorman”


Plot: A boy who can speak to the dead takes on the challenge of saving his town from a curse.

Directors: Chris Butler and Sam Fell.

Writer: Chris Butler.

Voice Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, and Jeff Garlin.

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy.

Running Time: 1 hour and 33 minutes.

MPAA Rating: PG.




SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: While ParaNorman may be more entertaining for adults than kids, it is still one of the better animated films of 2012. The stop-motion animation is visually fantastic, but the film also brings about clever uses of comedic touches and horror references.



  • Christian Becker:

Grade: B

A fun animated adventure that really brings out the kid in anyone who loved, or still loves, old cheesy monster movies. The premise isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, but the jokes are inventive enough and the animation is so expertly done that it gives you a good time no matter what. I am also shocked by how far hey pushed the “PG” rating, but it worked out by giving it a smarter, sophisticated edge rather than just dumbing it down.

  • Tyler Christian (Cali Critic):

Grade: A-

A delightful stop-motion animated treat that is certain to please adults more than kids, but is still sprinkled with enough playful sequences to keep them entertained. Only flaws really lie in the offbeat tonal shifts and tad overlong climax, but I can let them slide a bit easily. Overall, benefiting from great voice work, stunning animation, and an elegant balance in various comedy techniques, ParaNorman is a late summer surprise that shouldn’t be missed out on.

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):

Grade: B-

Not a game-changer in the genre of stop-motion animation, but I think this is a good introduction to horror and zombie films for kids.


  • Zachary Marsh:

Grade: A-

An animated movie that adults will enjoy more than kids, but it is still one fun movie. Consistently funny, and sometimes even creepy, ParaNorman is most definitely the best animated movie so far this year. Great voice work and a well written script are included, but it will probably be best if you don’t pay for the 3D version because the 3D is pretty mediocre. Overall, a great family movie that is definitely a must-see on the big screen


  • Scott Menzel:

Grade: A-

This is one of those animated films that not only can be loved by adults and children a like, but it also plays homage to classic horror. The animation is absolutely gorgeous, the story-line is creative and fun, and the voice talent is right on the money. This is probably one of the best stop motion animation films to come out of a major studio in quite some time — and that says a lot coming from me because I simply adore stop motion. It’s definitely a great ride for both children and adults alike. Go see it!


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