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Movie Review: ParaNorman

ParaNorman is an animated kid’s movie, except that it’s not really appropriate for kids. Peppered through the movie are jokes that are not only beyond most kid’s comprehension, but are probably a bit too adult and may prompt some questions that you really don’t want to answer. Besides that, though, there are some really funny parts and kids would probably really like it. The animation is really cool, the characters are likeable and the plot is engaging. I just don’t know if I like the direction that a lot of animated films are going. I don’t want to sound out-of-touch or controversial, but some of the lessons being taught are probably best left for parents to teach, and a lot of the jokes being told in attempt to cater to adults are really out-of-place in a movie made for kids.

Disney/Pixar seem to understand how to make movies for kids that adults can also enjoy without resorting to inappropriate jokes or messages that are a bit controversial and political. I think of movies like Toy Story and The Incredibles and think, “those are what kid’s movies should be.” Movies like ParaNorman not only go places that kid’s movies probably shouldn’t go, but also, it really just wasn’t a very funny, enjoyable movie for the most part. It had its moments, and I didn’t hate it, but a lot of the jokes fell flat for me, that plot was a bit slow at times, and in the end, I just didn’t find myself caring much about what happened. It was directed by Chris Butler, who was also involved in Coraline and Corpse Bride, but I liked those movies more. ParaNorman is all about making a statement, and not enough about just trying to be fun and entertaining.

Grade – C-

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