Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
... if you're any kind of animation or graphic art fiend or even mild enthusiast, the visuals are sure to stagger you. ParaNorman is an extrasensory delight for sure.
New York Times:
The story, an amusing if not especially fresh tale involving a witch and some Puritans, is principally a vehicle for the movie's meticulously detailed pictorial beauty, which turns each scene into an occasion for discovery and sometimes delight.
It's filled with clever detail, both old-school and state-of-the-art.
The results are breathtakingly chilling, but it's easy to wonder what heights ParaNorman could have reached by doing one thing that well throughout, instead of 10 things at once, haphazardly.
Truly, this is one animated film that would work just as well as a live-action movie.
The movie has its moments of dark whimsy and cheeky wit, but most of what it has is body parts.
J. R. Jones,
This swell stop-motion animation operates on a wavelength similar to that of Laika's debut feature, Coraline, with assured character comedy counterbalanced by a solemn sense of macabre wonder.
What works about "ParaNorman" is its subtle interweave of the stoical and the heroic.
Chances are most kids, and most adults, will find "Paranorman" perfectly horrible in the best possible way.
The story may be thin, but the project, a feat of stop-motion animation, is made with generous care by the same impressive LAIKA studio artists who conjured up the gorgeous Coraline.
Amanda Mae Meyncke,
"ParaNorman" took a huge risk on a scarier concept, and it paid off enormously.
It has its entertaining moments, but this paranormal stop-motion animated comedy-chiller cries out for more activity.
San Jose Mercury News:
It delivers a potent, multipronged fable that touches on meaty themes, from bullying to dealing with death. It also delivers an especially resonant message about not succumbing to a cult of fear.
Butler and Fell are diehard fans of the horror genre and they have peppered the film with an endless array of subtle homages and gags.
"ParaNorman" is never less than entertaining, but you'll have to follow it into a strange purgatory between two opposing genres.
The film avoids the pandering of many animated features, bringing an acerbic edge and a thrilling intelligence to its story.
The spirit of great stop-motion animators like George Pal and Ray Harryhausen lives on in ParaNorman, and not just as a ghost: It's so real you could almost reach out and touch it.
New York Post:
Employs stop-motion animation to provide hand-crafted appeal to the clever and surprisingly scary story of a Massachusetts town whose witch-hunting past catches up with it on its 300th anniversary.
It's not just Pixar that kicks ass in animation. There's magic in ParaNorman, a small miracle in stop-motion 3D from the wizards at Laika.
San Francisco Chronicle:
The world of Blithe Hollow exists in real space. The residents have real bags under their eyes, real bellies at their belt buckles. Ugliness alternates with rapturous beauty ...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"ParaNorman" has plenty of rambunctious thrills to give the kiddies goosebumps, while older connoisseurs of stop-motion animation will appreciate the Laika studio's inventive visuals.
Globe and Mail:
If the story lacks the consistent psychological depth of Coraline, another tale of an outcast finding solace in a parallel world, amends are made during the lovely climax.
The quick-witted script and visual puns (check out Norman's bedroom) make this a zombie movie for kids, but one parents can enjoy.
Beautifully rendered in 3-D stop-motion animation, the film combines ghoulishness and hilarity in a way that suggests Evil Dead 2 for the Nickelodeon set.
This is the kind of grim fairy tale, equal parts midnight-movie macabre and family-round-the-hearth compassionate, that scars in all the right ways.
An entertaining and visually attractive family-friendly story.
Few movies so taken with death have felt so rudely alive as ParaNorman, the latest handcrafted marvel from the stop-motion artists at Laika.
Butler called it "John Carpenter meets John Hughes," and that does just about sum ParaNorman up, though the actual math still feels a little fuzzy.
A colorfully macabre stop-motion animation comedy that embraces the sociopolitical allegories of George A. Romero's zombie pictures and reworks them into a feature-length episode of "Scooby-Doo."