The new 3D stop-motion comedy thriller from animation company LAIKA, reteaming the company with Focus Features after the groundbreaking Academy Award-nominated “Coraline.” “ParaNorman” is, following “Coraline,” the company’s second stop-motion animated feature to be made in 3D. In “ParaNorman,” a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst, of all, grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.
I was disappointed in this one. I had hopes that it might be entertaining for both kids and adults in a fun Halloween kind of way, a spooky story with great animation and a happy ending as the kids triumphed over the evil forces they faced. Instead, I was appalled by all of the inappropriate content, and there is a lot of it in this film.
The story is strong with the occult such as a witch, ghosts, zombies, the rising dead, curses, witch’s spells, etc. Although it is intended to be a fantasy kind of story these elements are non-stop in the film. A dad refers to his son’s “Ouija” board “upstairs”. We also learn that judges many years ago condemned a young girl to death for witchcraft and the girl replied that she was just “playing around”. She has since haunted the people who live in the area to this day and cursed them (maybe she “really” was a witch?) At any rate, the judges have to be summoned back from the dead to apologize before the girl, “Aggie”, is satisfied and can rest in peace.
The use of “Sweet baby J” is one line which, with other factors included in the content, doom the picture from receiving our Dove Seal. It is certain the term is not used in respect. In addition, the ghost of a hippie is clearly seen holding a lit marijuana cigarette and, along with the strong occult themes, a young male character named Mitch tells a girl that is interested in him that she would like his “boyfriend”.
The content in this movie prevents us from awarding our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to the picture. This is not a good one for the kids or parents. Sure, it has a few funny moments, but also contains behavior that will probably concern many of you.