ParaNorman is only the second animated movie we’ve recommended for you for this Halloween season so far, but it’s a damn good one. ParaNorman is a stop-motion animated movie produced by Laika and directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler. It stars Kodi Smit-McPhee as Norman, Anna Kendrick as his sister Courtney, Tucker Albrizzi as Neil, Casey Affleck as Mitch, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Alvin. The movie is about a young boy Norman who can communicate with ghosts although no one else believes him except for his uncle Mr. Prenderghast. The ghosts all have unfinished business and others tragic deaths in the world of the living and Norman is given the task of ending a witch's curse.

ParaNorman is a great movie top to bottom. The voice cast is excellent and boasts some big names. The story written by director Chris Butler is excellent and has a lot of heart, emotion, creepiness, and social commentary that we can all relate to. I know it sounds weird thinking you can relate to a kid who can see and talk to ghosts, but that serves as a placeholder for something that you or I have been picked on for. Norman is not only bullied at school but he’s also picked on at home due to his ability. I think the movie does a great job exploring the effects of being picked on, feeling like at outcast, having a true friend, and other things we go through when we’re young. And it’s all shown through fantastic animation. 

ParaNorman also set a milestone by featuring the first openly gay character in a mainstream animated movie. An achievement which led to it becoming the first-ever PG-rated movie for its annual nominated by GLAAD for its annual GLAAD Media Awards.

I’m a sucker for stop-motion and Laika has knocked it out of the park with each of their releases with all four of their movies being nominated for Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature (Kubo and the Two Strings was also nominated for Best Visual Effects). While Kubo is Laika’s best movie, ParaNorman is my favorite of their releases so far.

ParaNorman may not provide scares for teens and adults but it may for kids as several moments are pretty creepy, especially for an animated movie. So watch it with your significant other, a young sibling, niece/nephew, or even yourself. It’s a movie you all could enjoy.

ParaNorman is available on Netflix or to rent/buy on other digital platforms.