Parent reviews for ParaNorman

Common Sense says

Cool-but-creepy monster flick is too scary for little kids.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 68 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 96 reviews
Parent of a 5, 6, and 8 year old Written bymama2mbg December 6, 2012

narrow minded parents create narrow minded bullies

I loved this movie as did my children. We watched it as a family and laughed throughout the entire thing. I rated it on "pause" because I feel you should know your child for any movie you would see. Throughout the movie I heard things like "Mama, she said a bad word!", followed by giggling. Another comment was "I think bullies are mean...maybe they feel sad about something." The zombies did not scare them because they like zombies (part of why we chose a zombie movie to begin with) My favorite comment was from my youngest daughter "He's gonna have a gay family just like us Mama!" What is sad to me is the fact that something that made my daughters feel good about our family, is making so many other people upset. Homosexuality is not about sex, it is about love. The comment about a boyfriend liking a certain type of movie is not inappropriate. A parent explaining gay sex to their child is inappropriate. My daughters know no more about my sex life than any child knows about their straight parents sex life. We don't discuss sex with our children because they are too young. We do however teach them that love comes in many forms and they are all ok. I wish parents that are afraid of homosexuality or view it as something that needs major explanation, would stop and think about the children in gay families. Bullying exists because of fear and ignorance. My children will most likely face bullying in their life because they have two moms...that is not the fault of any child, it is a direct result of careless and ignorant parenting. If the mention of boyfriend made you fear for your child, please know that it will be your child that is bullying mine.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byParatrooperWife August 17, 2012

Won't be purchasing this one, even though my 7 and 9 year old liked it.

Scariness was not my concern one bit in this movie, even though there were jumpy parts. I took our 9 and 7 year old and in the end I left the movie theater just shaking my head. Kids and grownups will enjoy the movie, but there were a lot of things that I felt were inappropriate for the younger crowd. Luckily, most went over their heads, but my mother and I were shocked. There was one part when a guy "ppsst" from behind a statue to call a kid over and the other kid said, "Hey, that guy just pissed (ppsst) at you!" A sister saying her brother sucks. Lots of bullying in the beginning. All the kids holding hands to make a stand and a boy putting his hand on the girl's butt instead (you don't see it, but you know by how she reacts and what she says). At the end, the boy that the sister has been pining over (blatantly looking him over, teenage flirting, etc) mentions his boyfriend. Now, I have NO PROBLEMS whatsoever with homosexuality and have mentioned it briefly with our kids. I just wish they could have left out jokes like that in a movie geared towards younger kids. I always talk with my kids about the movies we see and discuss anything that would be an issue. This movie just seems to have WAY too many things to have to talk about in a short period of time. My hand was on my forehead or mouth dropped open in shock a lot. I just never expected all the teenage/adult humor in it. For parents that are not wanting to expose their kids to things like this, stay away from this movie. On a positive note, the overall message of the story is good and the effects are really amazing. We saw it in 2D.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written bySraesc November 16, 2012

Wonderful messages of acceptance, tolerance, and forgiveness

This is one of the best family movies I have seen in a long time. I am saddened and angered by many of the reviews I have read by other parents here on CommonSense.org. First, I agree with the other reviewer who said that people should really read reviews or screen the movie themselves before taking their children. That's what PG means -- parental guidance suggested. I think it is very sad that the rating here has been downgraded SO MUCH because of all the homophobic people who have written reviews here. This is a wonderful movie. Yes, there is bullying. Guess what: The real world has bullying too. Yes, there is some questionable language. Guess what: The real world has that, too. Unless you never turn on the television in your home and your kids are homeschooled, then they have probably heard those words before. Yes, there was some sexual content. But for the most part, this is over the heads of any children but those old enough to understand and put it in the appropriate context. And yes, one of the characters references his boyfriend in the end. Guess what: there are gay people in the real world, too. If you say you "have no problem with homosexuals," but don't want your children to know about it, then that means you do have a problem with homosexuals. And that is just wrong. There are loving gay couples everywhere in this world. The PTO president at my children's school is a happily married lesbian. She and her wife adopted four siblings who were removed from their biological mother. They are wonderful parents and community members. So all of the kids in my daughter's kindergarten class know that Janie has two moms. None of them seem to struggle with that information. There are all kinds of families, and all kinds of families are beautiful. This is a wonderful film about tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness. Yes, the storyline of the little girl being hanged as a witch is heavy, which is why this movie is for older kids. Unlike many parents on here, I did a lot of research before deciding whether to even take my 9 year old. And I am so glad I did. A wonderful movie that preaches acceptance, not hatred. Apparently that message went over the heads of many parents on this site.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written bystarprince August 18, 2012

Too Adult for children

I did not care for the sexual tone to this movie. I did not like the way one of the story line ended with one of the main characters revealing that he was gay. I believe that is something that parents and children should discuss..

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Parent Written byKMM5 August 1, 2013

Definitely not for kids! Very disappointed.

If I had taken a kid that was 13 or over this would have POSSIBLY been a good movie, but since it was rated PG I took my 9 year old. It terrified her. We had to leave the theatre. The comercials make it look like it's a happy little movie where friendly ghosts help a boy save his town. While there are some friendly ghosts, there is also a little demon child who reminds me of the girl from The Ring. The scenes with this girl are extremely scary. On top of that, there is cursing, drinking, and smoking. A teenage girl spends the entire movie throwing herself at a teenage boy, who turns out to be gay. A younger boy spends the movie trying to (apparently) get into the teenage girl's pants, even slapping her bottom at one point. I was very disappointed by this movie. I think they tried to combine jokes to entertain adults while still keeping the kids engaged. The thing is - in most movies that do this the jokes go over the kids' heads. These jokes are blatantly obvious to any kid over about the age of 6. If we had not carpooled to the movie we would have left and gone home, but as it was we had to leave the theatre several times because it was too scary. This should have been rated PG13 all along. To be honest, I'm not sure I would have been comfortable seeing it when I was 13.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 5 and 12 year old Written byMamaBearWatching August 22, 2012

Scary...bad humor NOT appropriate for kids under 10.

I was shocked that this was rated PG, it should be PG-13. What was wrong with it...Norman walks into the kitchen and one of the parents asked what he was watching and he said sex and violence. The uncle was hiding behind a statue and goes "Psst" and the kid said "Someone is Pssting at/on us". You KNOW what it was suppose to sound like. When the boy was to promise something the adult goes "Now swear" and Norman goes "You mean say the "F" word". The bully hits Norman in the "boob" and yes, that word was said 3 times. So look for that NOW to be a problem in the school yards. And at the end of the movie when the older sister of Norman asked the older brother of Norman's friend out, he replies "Sure, my boyfriend loves chickflicks". Not to mention the over the top violence when the witch body slams Norman over and over. It's is a very dark, gothy type cartoon. I would say it is for kids 10+.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written bynorcal15 August 17, 2012

Not Too Scary

Okay yes there are jump scenes, but what's great is the zombies, ghost's aren't scary looking, they come off comical. My 4 yr old laughed so much. He enjoyed this movie more than Brave. It all depends on your child of course. To me Coraline was more dark. This movie is a great movie, and my 4 yr old loved it , and wants to see it again. I don't agree with the above review that " frightful zombies with body parts flapping and falling off" They are very comical.
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written bybprecruiting August 18, 2012

dislike

Too much sexual innuendo! Also my five year old said "I want to leave" during the loud scary parts.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written bypeach30 August 17, 2012

leave the little ones at home

I took my 9 & 10 year olds and they enjoyed this movie very much. I am really glad that I left my 5 year old at home. There were parts that made you jump, but was more concerned about the language, suggestive sexual content and some scary scenes towards the end. I would recommend for older kids only. Good message provided that being different is OK. Worth watching.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Parent Written byAdventuresome4 August 18, 2012

ParaNorman covers alot of ground

My kids enjoyed this movie, it did have some really funny comments at the beginning. I was somewhat surprised by some of the topic matter brought up. Filled with stereotypes, school bully is big and dumb, blond is stupid, scantily dressed and full of herself, gay teen is muscled/body obsessed(talks about his boyfriend at end). Normans only friend is the other boy who is picked on, who of course, is the fat kid. I did appreciate that they showed Norman as a forgiving and kindhearted child who ultimately tries hard to do the right thing despite everyone calling him a freak. Movie brings up how even adults can make bad decisions when they're scared. As far as sexual content, there seemed to be alot more than the usual PG movie has. Smaller children might be scared by the witch, zombies and cartoon-like violence.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Parent Written byajane_c April 9, 2013

Great movie!

Personally I thought this movie was really good. Yes, there was a few sexual references but ultimately this movie had a positive message and my child loves it. She asks to watch it everyday and she is under 5. For all the parents that have kids that are 10 and above that think this is too harsh, your children are probably learning more from other kids about sex and drugs then they will from this movie. Also, there is more harmful shows on tv then this movie. This movie shows a young boy who, against all odds, saves his town and becomes a hero even though he may be the weird kid. This shows that just because you are different doesn't mean that you wont amount to greatness.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byaspiringwriter October 1, 2014

I swear

Even after two years of this movie being out, I'm still shaking my head at half the reviews for this lovely movie. If people aren't freaking out over the scary bits (it IS supposed to be a scary type of film after all, what else do you expect?) or the "inappropriate" topics (which are actually rather tame and please keep in mind they are going for realistic; I know a lot of kids and teens act and talk like that (and much of it is meant innocently too), unless you are living under a rock you would know that), then they're freaking out over Mitch's homosexuality. Please! It is now 2014, not everyone is heterosexual and homosexuality is not a big deal! Kids can be very accepting and they would benefit from someone sitting down and talking with them about it, so that they can learn. Kids are smart, they come to their own conclusions about things, and they pick up on things that us adults sometimes don't. Homosexuality isn't a bad thing, I rather liked how they addressed it; it wasn't the main component of his character, nothing about him changed after the fact. You act like he's suddenly become a monster because he's gay. Homosexuality is normal (I myself am bisexual) and should be accepted just like heterosexuality, there's nothing wrong with it. That's just who people are. My sister was very young when I took her to see it, and she loved every bit of it! She didn't care about the one line of homosexuality, she didn't care about the "inappropriate" bits, she didn't care about the scary parts or violence. It's telling a story in the real world, reflecting how the world is today and because of that, the characterization and the story, I can't help but love this film to death. So please, get off your high horses, acting like non-heterosexuals and parental bonuses are such terrible things. The world isn't squeaky clean, it's just real, so act like it.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 8 year old Written byMamaBearNJ August 18, 2012

Your Mileage May Vary

What's scary -- and what's too scary -- can be very individual. While I probably would have been utterly freaked out by a movie like this when I was a kid, my 9-year-old LOVED Paranorman, and I also appreciate it. Once you get past the creepy crawlies (of which there are plenty), Paranorman is a movie with its heart in the right place. Norman, a kid who sees and talks to ghosts, has to use his dubious gift to save the town from a threat no one else really believes in: a curse laid on the town during a colonial witch-hunt. Meanwhile, Norman is something of a witch-hunt victim himself. Branded a "freak," Norman is bullied at school and misunderstood at home. The nastiness of his peers is very believable; children who are dealing with bullies or feeling isolated at school may either find this comfortingly "relatable" or too close for comfort. At first Norman's isolation makes him angry at the world, but a sweet-natured fellow outcast, Neil, insists on befriending him and remains loyal through all the strange events of the movie. Neil's nonaggressive response to bullies and loyal friendship toward Norman establish a subtle but important moral grounding that runs through the whole movie: others may do evil, but doing evil in return doesn't help anything. I believe this is a powerful and much-neglected message that is worth a few gross-outs to encounter. Ultimately, despite the yucky severed arms, this isn't a movie about fighting zombies: as unlikely as it seems, Paranorman is a movie about understanding and forgiveness. I recommend it highly to strong-stomached adults, teens, and tweens.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Parent of a 5 and 9 year old Written byM382 August 20, 2012

Oh boy. Wishing we'd checked here first.

Oh my gosh - Cute movie, overall, but the LANGUAGE. Wow. That was the WORST. Couldn't believe those making this movie thought bad words would make it better. They add nothing. Another issue we had bringing 6- & 9-year-old boys: Zombies were too scary for our just-turned-6-year-old. He & I waited in the wing, seeing 1/4 of the screen, until it felt "safe." We'll just see if either has nightmares tonight. Wouldn't be surprised if so. THINK HARD about seeing this with children under 11!!!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byHooptastic August 19, 2012

Lewd humor and gore. Save your money.

I was hopeful that this movie would be quirky and cool like Coraline. We were very disappointed. There are several references to sex...the bully comments that he's bummed that during a zombie invasion he's stuck in a library while an adult video store is right across the street. The teenage sister sports a bellying and openly lusts after a teen boy. A young boy is caught freeze-framing his mother's aerobics videos. Numerous instances of profanity. Increasingly gory and violent. We walked out halfway through the movie-- not something we do that often.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byvanceali August 17, 2012

Love this movie!

Wonderful movie filled with positive messages about the dangers of witch hunts and mob mentality. The main character is a boy whose life is difficult because his special skill makes him different. But he remains true to himself and finds happiness and respect. Again, simply wonderful!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bytiffany herring June 13, 2014

BEST ANIMATED MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN

Fantastic!! Absolutely fantastic! I actually cried many times throughout the movie because I know what its like to be bullied and alone. Im sure every child and adult can relate to Norman. And it had an EPIC climax! It was an intense amazing scene (the scene with Agatha and Norman) sure there was some bad language, but who gives a damn?! Every child will hear bad words in their life sooner or later. Im sooo proud of the writers at Laika studios to add real-life situations.......but what got me upset, is what the ignorant parents write on this site. So what if theres homosexuality and bad words. Thats what the real world has. You parents are overreacting. Kids NEED to see whats out there in the real world. ParaNorman gently shows what the real world is like. Dear, Parents....CALM THE F*CK DOWN. ParaNorman was amazing.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bysupermomof3 December 17, 2012

Awful movie!

We waited for this to be released on DVD to watch it. HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!!!! Sexual connotations, foul language, bullying, and a brief mention of homosexuality! REALLY?!?!?!?!?! Hollywood has run out of ideas for cartoons. My 12-yr-old daughter even mentioned as we watched it together that it was all totally unnessary! As a Christian, I'm supposed to take a stand for Christ. Homesexuality is a sin. God said it's wrong...so it's wrong, no matter how anyone feels about it. Using bad language is a sin. Wrong is wrong. And this movie has wrong written all over it!

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byHallieDD September 2, 2012

Common Sense Media missed the mark on this one!

First of all, this movie portrays parents as inept. Do we really need another movie where parents are portrayed this way? The language is inappropriate for children--please...do you really need to say "the F-word"? When did it become o.k. for kids to say, "that sucks"? It's become so much the norm that it's placed in kids movies? Can't we have some movies completely without this kind of language? The gay reference was totally inappropriate for this age group. I can't even believe that Common Sense Media gave this 4 stars. It's been a "go to" website for us, but I'm questioning that now. I guess this "trash" sells...very sad!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byshifra1 August 28, 2012

Salem Witch Trials??

What happened to the central witch character (Salem-type witch trial) was horrendous - a young girl taken from her parents and killed by adults - and it was WAY too scary a concept to throw into this kid-oriented film.

Pages