Reader Review: ParaNorman (2012) – From The Mouths of Babes

Synopsis: A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse

Editor’s Note: There are some films which need to be looked at in the context of the audience they’re intended for. As a big 28 year old man-child I love animated films intended for persons much younger, although probably more mature, than myself. That said, I am possibly not the best person to tell a 5 year old whether they’re likely to enjoy a film. So when my friend’s awesome 5 1/2 year old son Ethan set up a movie night at their house for him, his parents and baby sister I couldn’t resist asking him to write a review on what he thought. So, here is his review of ParaNorman and whether it’s a good film for you and/or your kids to watch.

Ethan’s Dad’s Take

During half term we decided to have our first family movie night. We allowed Ethan to pick the movie and food (hot dogs and pop corn of course) and he designed a poster and tickets for us all..and bizarrely he chose a dress code (smart with tie for those asking!).

Five minutes into the film I thought we were going to be in for a long night. we put the movie on at 7pm which is usually Ethan’s bedtime so he was up late as it was..the opening scene has Norman talking to his deceased Gran as he can see dead people..yes it’s an animated sixth sense! Cue parental panics about nightmares etc but the only tears from Ethan were of laughter at various scenes through the film. Apparently being able to see dead people,ghosts and zombies isn’t scary, Who knew!!

For any parent who’s watched Pixars UP and within the first few minutes (started to quietly blub) thought how do I explain this to the watching child Paranorman raises the same issues or so we thought. After the film we asked Ethan to tell us about it and below is what he said.


Ethan’s (5 1/2 years) Review (as dictated to his Dad)

Film rating  = 100 (where 1 = Toy Story (least liked film) and 100 = Cars 2 (most liked film))


Norman can see zombies but the other people can’t. People at school think Norman is a freak. Norman makes friends with a boy called Neil by the school lockers. Outside school there was a boy with a green top called Alvin who bullied Norman by pushing him over for no reason and he didn’t even say sorry to Norman. After school a very smelly man called Mr Prenderghast comes along and says to Norman there is a curse coming in 2 nights and to stop the curse he has to go and read a story from a special book. Norman reads the story in lots of different places but it doesn’t work. Zombies then come out of their graves and they come and try and help to stop the curse but the people don’t think that’s what they are doing,the people in town think the Zombies have come to destroy their town and eat their brains!

Norman, Neil, Neil’s brother, Alvin the bully and Norman’s family work together to stop the curse but everyone gets trapped apart from Norman. Norman finds the witch who is a girl called Aggi and he holds her hand but she doesn’t want to hold his hand. Aggi is upset because the Zombies sent her away when she was little as they were scared of her because she was different and this is why she put the curse on them. Norman sits down with Aggi and he says that she is at a good place to sleep and she will get to see her mum. Aggi agrees and stops the curse and goes to sleep. The Zombies then go back to their graves.

Watkins Family Movie Night

Funniest bits:

  • When Neil’s brother kicks the Zombies head away.
  • When Neil kisses his dogs ghost but doesn’t realise he’s kissing the dogs bum….
  • When Norman throws a stick which bounces of a tree nod knocks Neil down.
  • After Neil’s brothers car has been smashed he still locks the doors.

Scary bits:

  • At the end when Aggi meets Norman and electrocutes him.

I would recommend this film to my friends who are 5 or older as its very funny! This was a good film to watch on family movie night.

(Editors Note: Having read his review I am now concerned I am being out-written by a 5 year old. Quality piece).

9 replies »

  1. Hehe. Sweet review! But I don’t know how I feel about the worst Pixar movie being the favorite and the best being the least favorite… Lol! When do we get his review on Lockout? 😉

    • You can’t get a more accurate review of a kids movie than from the mind of a 5 year old! Might have to get his Dad to do the lockout review, lest we be accused of inflicting long term psychological trauma

  2. Awesome review…. Think Dad needs to take his friends to the pub as got to much time on his hands to write reviews… Great tho

  3. Great review. This flick was a little too slow at times for me, but for the most part kept me entertained with its humor and energetic voice-cast. Especially the little fat kid, who was not only was cute as anything, but also nailed every time he had a funny line.

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