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ParaNorman 2012

Critics score:
87 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Jake Coyle, Associated Press: ParaNorman, blessed with otherworldly animation, can't escape the demons of story. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: ... 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. Read more

Manohla Dargis, 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. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: It's filled with clever detail, both old-school and state-of-the-art. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: 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. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Truly, this is one animated film that would work just as well as a live-action movie. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: The movie has its moments of dark whimsy and cheeky wit, but most of what it has is body parts. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: What works about "ParaNorman" is its subtle interweave of the stoical and the heroic. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Chances are most kids, and most adults, will find "Paranorman" perfectly horrible in the best possible way. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: 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. Read more

Amanda Mae Meyncke, Film.com: "ParaNorman" took a huge risk on a scarier concept, and it paid off enormously. Read more

Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter: It has its entertaining moments, but this paranormal stop-motion animated comedy-chiller cries out for more activity. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: It may be the most fun you'll have with ghosts and zombies all year. Read more

Randy Myers, 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. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: 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. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: "ParaNorman" is never less than entertaining, but you'll have to follow it into a strange purgatory between two opposing genres. Read more

Bruce Diones, New Yorker: The film avoids the pandering of many animated features, bringing an acerbic edge and a thrilling intelligence to its story. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, NPR: 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. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: It's as slow as a corpse, and half as interesting. Read more

Lou Lumenick, 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. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com: Paranorman has a unique look that's equal parts old school and cutting edge. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: 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. Read more

Amy Biancolli, 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 ... Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Humor depends on character, context and continuity, none of which is in abundant supply in "ParaNorman." Read more

Joe Williams, 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. Read more

Rick Groen, 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. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: The quick-witted script and visual puns (check out Norman's bedroom) make this a zombie movie for kids, but one parents can enjoy. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: 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. Read more

Cath Clarke, Time Out: Ghoulish? Yes. Funny? You bet. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: 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. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: An entertaining and visually attractive family-friendly story. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Few movies so taken with death have felt so rudely alive as ParaNorman, the latest handcrafted marvel from the stop-motion artists at Laika. Read more

Jonathan Kiefer, Village Voice: 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. Read more

Sean O'Connell, Washington Post: 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." Read more