Review of Paranorman

We asked 2 parents to take their kids to see the Universal Pictures film, Paranorman and to give us their honest opinion:

Film Plot: In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman, who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he has to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, moronic grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Spooky but cool

I am not the best at spooky films even if it’s an animated children’s film so I was wondering what this story of a boy who can see ghosts and who has to save the town from zombies would be like.

As I suspected, there were a few scary moments all right, so younger kids (i.e. under 8) may find it a bit too scary, e.g. when Norman goes by himself into his crazy uncle’s spooky house or the usual “visiting the graveyard” scenes you would expect from a spooky movie and a car chase with a zombie on the roof, they all provided a few jumpy moments.

To my surprise I ended up very much enjoying this movie, it had some great moments. I thought the animation at the beginning of the film when Norman walks to school particularly inventive as it switched views between him saying hello to all the ghosts and the neighbours seeing him address empty space.

And when you realise what the story is about towards the end, it’s very poignant and touching.  Spooky but ultimately a cool film for kids and parents alike.

My daughter Blythe, aged 10, said, “I liked it Mum, I liked Norman and it wasn’t too scary
just a little scary”.  Jill from Galway

A really captivating and quirky kids movie

To me this was a really captivating and quirky kids movie, and thoroughly enjoyable for both myself and my 8 year old nephew, Robert!  Being a big fan of zombies, ghouls and all things boyish anyway, Robert was enthralled for start to finish and didn’t jump at the parts that made me jump!

This dark tale does contain some language and crude humour that would be unsuitable for young children and has some great special effects and horror movie scenes so parents should judge how their own kids might react to this.

The movies deals with bullying and the not so nice side of school life for Norman and his friend Neil who have to deal with name calling.  One underlying message that “normal” comes in all shapes and sizes, does shine through, as Norman struggles with his identity and being accepted.

I felt that ParaNorman was a really different and at times complex kids movie.  It was visually impressive and the stop-motion animation was amazing.

Robert said “I enjoyed it, it was exciting and scarey! It was 5 out of 5!”  Allison from Wicklow

What did you think of Paranorman?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls


  1. Gloria Evans says:

    Well I’ll let my 4 yr old be the critic as 4 not easy to get him to sit through every movies but he loved it didn’t move from his seat didnt keep asking for stuff sat back and enjoyed the movie . Best review kids movie could ask for