I'll admit, I've been looking forward to ParaNorman ever since I saw its first trailer. I'm a sucker for these types of movies, where the 'outsider' has to save the day.
In this movie's case, the outsider is a boy named Norman Babcock. Norman lives in the town of Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts with his mom, his dad, his older sister and the ghost of his dead grandmother. Norman, you see, can perceive and communicate with the dead.
He doesn't bother to hide this particular talent or lie about it. In fact, his life would probably be a lot easier if he did.
But he doesn't. The kid perseveres, putting up with the slings and arrows from the community at large (which thinks he's a weird kid) and the scathing opinion of his dad and older sister. They don't believe he can see the dead either.
So, Norman already has a lot on his plate when the movie kicks into high gear. I'm not going to give any spoilers about the plot in this review, but I will say that it moves along at a brisk pace. Pretty soon Norman is catapulted into a situation where he has to deal with zombies, the townsfolk and the ghost of a very angry witch.
Overall, I really liked this movie. If I have a critique, it's that the plot moves along, perhaps, a little too quickly. Still, I think this was a well-done film, an interesting story with a surprisingly dark core. On my movie love scale, I give ParaNorman a solid 6 out of 10. It's definitely well worth full price and I think it's good enough to see again.
However, that said, I don't think this is the type of movie that parents should take young children to see. I'd say if you're kids are late elementary school or older, fine, no problem. Anything younger than that? Hold off on showing them this movie, because it does get a little intense.