User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 199 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 199

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  1. Oct 25, 2012
    7
    ParaNorman confirms that Laika is an animation studio worth watching out for. As with Coraline, they've crafted a film that truly respects its young audience ,A savvy, intelligent, well-crafted animated horror comedy for kids should also appeal to adult horror fans as well.
  2. Oct 15, 2012
    7
    This movie was funny, clever, moving, exciting, and wonderful in ways that most kids flicks can only hope to be. If your or any kids you have didn't see it yet, you're missing out on a real treat ,Will this win the oscar for best animated film? Because the only competition might be brave and this was far better than brave in my opinion.
  3. Oct 8, 2012
    9
    Everything about this film is a delight. The comedic timing in the jokes is excellent, and the humour itself is often very clever, amusing misdirection. The main character is sympathetic for anyone who ever had a moment of self-awareness, or felt like some quirk makes them strange instead of unique. The visuals are wonderfully stylized, and make me think back to other visually unique media, such as Psychonauts, though with a bit more symmetry. The plot, even, takes some fairly unexpected and smart directions. Those who like to know about the technical aspects of films will also revel in ParaNorman. The production of the film is nothing short of fascinating, especially regarding the climax.

    I wasn't expecting much, and was pleasantly surprised. Highly recommended film.
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  4. Sep 30, 2012
    1
    Over hyped beyond belief wow this was a waste of money
  5. Sep 28, 2012
    4
    The trailers made this movie look funny and worth seeing. In reality it was neither. Minimal humor which may be because it was obviously not written for adults. Most animated movies contain material for both children and adults, this one didn't. We were so bored we considered leaving or switching to another movie. The look was fine, nothing special. The content was slow, obvious and far too many butt shots. Based on the other ratings here, my date and I am in the minority. This was such a waste of time and money that I'm considering asking the theater for my money back. As it isn't their fault maybe I'll ask Laika. I do leave in the area. Expand
  6. Sep 24, 2012
    9
    The movie is about finding yourself and being more tolerant towards people that are different in opinion or appearance than you. Great messages that have been done a dozen time before, but there is nothing wrong with that. The film is also an homage and parody to classic horror movies. From making fun of their structure to embracing it for laughs, the movie does a great job of being original while not forgetting its roots.

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  7. Sep 19, 2012
    7
    Wow has this movie caused a lot of drama from critics. Personally i am torn on this movie. I found it to be a movie with an average plot, great art design and a very good message. Being 19, the controversial gay statement really did surprise me and give me a good laugh at the end of the movie, but seeing as this is a PG, i can see the issue parents have with it. Overall, its a cute movie with a little bit of adult humor to spice it up a bit, don't take your kids to this movie if you feel they aren't mature enough to handle a bit of crude humor, but do give this movie a shot. Expand
  8. Sep 19, 2012
    7
    This movie needs quite a bit more plot.The whole movie revolves around the witch's curse,but what's the point?At the end,the way Norman speaks to the witch is a trifle weak.
  9. Sep 17, 2012
    5
    This will be short and sweet. I'm a fan of animation. The trailer was enough to get me in the seat, but the movie... not so much. I really wanted this to be good. But, when it's not there, well... it wasn't.
    Still, this doesn't mean you shouldn't play it for your five year old. They seem to respond well to moving objects of various colors. So, this movie will do just fine. For the
    accompanying adult, though, a shot of whisky pre-film will probably be a good move. Trust me.
    One thing did leave a positive impression. The marketing campaign for the film. The posters. The figures in display at the theaters. And, specially, the imagery that accompanies the closing credits of the film. Phenomenal stuff. Thumbs up to the art and marketing team.
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  10. Sep 17, 2012
    5
    I wanted to like this film. I'm a big fan of animation so I go to most new releases. Animated films with the message of tolerance are always welcome, but this film was too slow paced and unfunny for my taste. Most of the jokes were cliche and fell flat, and it was predictable. The realistic jokes about watching "sex and violence" on TV and the admission of the teenage boy being gay did not bother me at all unlike some other reviewers, but overall the movie needed more humor. The look of the movie was great. I don't understand people's negative reviews about the teenage girl being rebellious. Most teenage girls ARE rebellious (many animated flicks have shown this including Pixar's " The Incredibles"). I thought "Coraline" was a better film for adults, and this one did not hold my interest as well. Expand
  11. Sep 16, 2012
    9
    ParaNorman is definitely the most beautiful stop-motion film I've ever seen and it's made even better by its message of tolerance. It has a few scary moments and a rather morbid tone so I wouldn't suggest this movie for sensitive children under 10. It's adequately rated PG for "Parental Guidance" which means that concerned parents should investigate the film before taking their kids. After listening to some conservative parents on here, it's clear that they're in dire need of this lesson! I wish the story had been a little tighter, but the visuals more than compensate for the few stagnant patches. I hope to see more films like this from Laika. Expand
  12. Sep 10, 2012
    7
    The most visually dazzling stop-motion animation film I have ever seen and, while it doesn't really meet the standard of 'Coraline' or tread any new waters as far as plot goes, ParaNorman is heart-warming, funny, and all around very likable. Kodi Smit-McPhee is great as the voice of the troubled lead character, capturing all of the innocent flourishes and vulnerability of Norman. The finale is very good, raising the film to a standard higher than the hour that preceded it. Near the end, it boasts the best display of a clay-mation visual feast as I have ever had the pleasure of chowing down on and the characters flourish and get wiggling room outside of their stereotypes. It certainly looks gorgeous and is an overall warm experience, if a little scary one as well. Expand
  13. Sep 6, 2012
    8
    I absolutely loved the movie! Actually, I liked it better than Coraline because I didn't feel like I got lost in the plot. The movie reminded of a 60's style balcony and white horror in the sense that it was a little outrageous, somewhat of a b-thriller, and slight bits comedy splattered throughout. Loved the animation too! My boyfriend didn't care for it as much as Coraline because he felt like the story went on and on and was a little too dragged out. Expand
  14. Sep 4, 2012
    10
    The film is worth seeing for the jaw dropping stop motion animation alone and its gorgeous visual style, but combine that with a solid story and endearing characters and you've got a dynamite movie, one of the best animated films I've ever seen. I definitely appreciate the filmmakers having guts and making the world feel real: Norman has actual, realistic problems, he and the others talk like real kids, the dangers feel authentic, and in the end, the movie has a phenomenal message about overcoming adversity and intolerance. All kids should see this film, and parents should talk to them about it. And to those who were put off by the "twist" at the end, then I'm afraid you missed the whole point of the movie. But regardless, to anyone who loves animation, horror, fantasy... hell, just movies in general, you're doing yourself a disservice if you haven't seen ParaNorman. Expand
  15. Sep 1, 2012
    8
    If there is one thing that Laika does incredibly well, it's creating amazing sets and characters! Story is not as dark as Coraline, so I think that opens it up to a younger audience a bit. Beautiful animation and art. Can't say enough about that aspect of it. Worth my ticket price for the visuals alone. Story is good, with interesting characters, but I felt like we didn't get to know them quite well enough, or perhaps the setup in general felt like it moved too quickly or was unevenly paced. Skipped some opportunities, and maybe dwelled on others. Enough being a critic. Enjoyed watching this, and was floored by the amount of amazing art and animation. Expand
  16. Sep 1, 2012
    9
    Focus Features and Laika made a stop-motion fairy tale in 2009 called Coraline, and it was the greatest movie ever made in history. Their second stop-motion, ParaNorman, a comedy adventure, is almost as great. Basically, it's really funny and has an amazing climax, but it's also got a clumsier pace and it's rather heavy with its themes on bullying. Then again, maybe some things need to be delivered heavily. Because people as a whole have a rather remarkable proficiency for not seeing below the surface. But really, what makes this such an excellent movie for children is the questions that parents will be discussing with their kids after viewing. While the lack of subtlety may be a little off-putting to older viewers, the moral issues it tackles are (in my opinion) extremely important for our generation's kids to be thinking about. One poignant thing I overheard after the credits were rolling was the little kids in the theatre talking about the movie and saying that their favorite character was the witch. I think that's what I admire most about the movie - it's darkly comic and fun to watch, but it's also sincere and affecting. Also, it was good of them to include a gay character in a children's film. Expand
  17. Aug 30, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I saw ParaNorman with my friend for her birthday and honestly, I didnt think it would be THAT good! I loved Coraline and wasn't sure if it would be any better.. IT WAS! Seriously, it took me by surprise. Lets start from the beginning. Years ago, people were accused of being "witches" and "performing witch-craft" which includes talking to ghosts. Well, a little girl (around 10 or 11) who had the ability to see and speak to the dead was tried for being a witch, was found guilty, and was hanged. A curse was put on the town and the people who accused her. Present day, a misunderstood boy named Norman also has the ability to talk to ghosts. He gets teased and picked on in school and even his family doesn't believe him. He finds out about the witch's curse and learns that hes the only one who can talk to the little girl and lift the curse for good. I really enjoyed this movie and was really surprised with some of the language I heard. Definetely not something a 4 or 5 year old should be watching. But overall, I loved it! Can't wait till it comes out on DVD so I can see it again! 10/10!! Expand
  18. Aug 26, 2012
    8
    This was a really good movie. A lot better than Coraline and Corpse Bride, in my opinion. It was enjoyable, and I was honestly scared a couple of times.
  19. Aug 22, 2012
    10
    This was a great film. I loved the story and the stop motion was done fantastic. The detail that was put into the environments is amazing. Knowing that each part of the set was hand made and not on a computer adds to the enjoyment of the film. I highly recommend the making of the film that can be found on the web. It will give you a great appreciation for what these talented folks have put together. The only thing is I think with film could be scare some little ones. But parants should keep in mind that this is a PG and not a G film. Expand
  20. Aug 22, 2012
    10
    An absolute masterpiece. EVERY child in America needs to see this movie. Aside from being a funny, smart, creative work of art, this film teaches some very important lessons about acceptance, individuality, friendship, diversity, and understanding that are needed now more than ever.
  21. Aug 21, 2012
    9
    The fact that these so called "parents" are agitated over the extremely small moment where a character says hes gay goes to show your a crappy parent. The whole message of the movie is that you should be happy with who you are and don't judge someone just because they're different from yourself. If you weren't so homophobic and stupid you'd realize that this is a great message sent to your kids. So shutup and open your mind and enjoy the film. Clearly you're the type of parent that will hate their kid if they end up gay. There isn't anything wrong with this movie people, some scenes may be too intense for really small children but overall this is a great film, with a BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE! Don't listen to the homophobes, they're just dumb and don't know a good movie when they see one. 9/10 Expand
  22. Aug 20, 2012
    10
    Simply an amazing movie. It's like a Tim Burton movie, but it isn't. The art style is just fantastic and innocent, and the message of the movie is even better! This is probably my favorite film now, no joke. ParaNorman focuses a lot on tolerance and the movie never bored me: the visual effects were so great and so was the voice acting! It was definitely entertaining start to finish -- although it did start off weird, it quickly got to the point and surprised me!! I loved the characters and just the movie itself! DEFINITELY a must see, whatever age!!!

    Seriously people? You're giving an amazing movie a ZERO because of a gay reference? Calm down, and stop being immature. It's not that big of a deal.
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  23. Aug 19, 2012
    8
    I brought my kids to this movie expecting to grit my teeth through another low intellect kids show. What I found was one of those rare children's films that works on multiple levels....earning laughs and groans from all the adults around me in the theatre. It funny. Its gross. Its witty. And just the right amount of scary. If not for the fact that the beginning drags a little, I would have rated it a point higher. Expand
  24. Aug 17, 2012
    10
    This stop motion animated 3-D movie is the best that I have seen. The characters seem to jump off the screen right at you while you watch the movie. I would recommend this movie to adults as well as children. The subject matter is not difficult to understand. It was joy to watch. I enjoyed the movie immensely
  25. Aug 17, 2012
    9
    ParaNorman es Chicken Little con zombies, tiene la misma trama que la otra, pero es mucho, mucho mejor que la de Chicken Little, teniendo una trama interesante, buen humor, animación espectacular y personajes memorable, es impresionante que un estudio como Laika haga grandiosas películas animadas que sean innovadoras y que estén casi en el mismo nivel que las de Pixar, si la quieren ver, véanla ahora mismo por que esto es otro ganador de Laika.
    Nota final: A-
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Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Sep 16, 2012
    60
    It's a likable scary story – with hints of Tim Burton and Steven Spielberg.
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Sep 10, 2012
    60
    Ingenious and wonderfully detailed, though better in its imaginative horror than its slightly too-broad comic knockabout. It's not quite on the level of Coraline, but it's proper summer fun with some dark delights.
  3. Reviewed by: Jayne Nelson
    Sep 1, 2012
    60
    Gorgeous animation and inspired set design help patch over a lacklustre script. The horror hardcore will enjoy playing spot the homage.