Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ParaNorman...Uh...Not So Much

This post is coming more than a day late and a dollar short.  The movie, "ParaNorman," came out a few weeks ago.  Alan and I had it on our list of movies to see, so off we went to a matinee last Saturday.

Alan and I arrived just as the movie started and parked ourselves on the first row where we could prop our feet up on the railing.  We have become creatures of habit.  Matinee.  First Row.  Prop Feet.

The theatre was pretty full - families with small children, couples with babies, "mature "(40+) adults.  Lots of little voices and squawks of infants rang out in the darkness as the movie began.  One of my favorite parts of seeing animated films is hearing the reactions of the children.  Gleeful giggles make the slapstick humor all the more enjoyable.

Our expectation:  ParaNorman is a humorous animated movie (meaning FOR CHILDREN) based on the experiences of child who can see and communicate with ghosts.

Here is the trailer:

The trailer contains pretty much every bit of humor that the movie has to offer.  The rest is either, well, pretty intense or a bit boring.  About 20 minutes into the movie, I turned to Alan and whispered, "I'm really trying to like this movie.  But, not so much."  I woke him up.

The bullies in the movies are more than cruel.  The monsters are more than creepy and scary.  At least 5 times I woke Alan up to say, "This is NOT a children's movie!"  The 3-D animation was excellent.  It was a visual treat despite the gore.  The attention to detail was remarkable - I loved Norman's sisters manicured nails!  But, the movie trailer didn't quite convey the intensity of the thing.

In the middle of the crescendo of action towards the end of the film, the little girl behind me (I'd say she was early-elementary aged) turned to her mother and asked in her "outside" voice, "Mom, is this an adult movie?" 

There was some typical "bathroom" humor laced throughout the story.  My motto is "If you don't have anything funny to say.  Say nothing."  Norman's friend, Neil, was the best part of the movie.  You can't help but love a sweet, good-hearted child.

During the "big ending" scene during which all of the "morals of the story" are the focus of the dialogue ("Norman, you're NOT like everyone else!"  "Norman, you're a HERO!"  "I'm OK!  You're OK"  Blah, blah, blah), the older brother who is a body-builder-bumbling-idiot drops a line about his sexual orientation that is meant to be funny.  In a children's movie?   It was unnecessary and totally unfunny.  And, it made me mad.

As the credits began to roll, I grabbed my purse and said, "Let's get out of here!  I did not like this movie!"  It was disturbing on so many levels when viewed through the eyes of a parent with young children.  My sons are grown, but I still filter things through "Mommy" eyes.

Alan and I saw the movie, "Brave," earlier this summer.  We clapped when it ended. I actually cried during a couple of scenes.  It was one of the best movies I've seen all year - animated or "real."  I would see it again.  I would take my 86 year old mom to see it.

ParaNorman.  Not so much.  It should have a PG-13 rating.  I'm just sayin'...


Carrie said...

I can't when there are sexual jokes in children's movies. ! Kids don't get them (hopefully)...they just make me cringe!
Thanks for the review!

Carolyn Lackey said...

Thanks, Carrie! Pretty soon parents will have to start previewing children's movies to make sure there are not surprises.

Barker Crew said...

Baize was invited by our neighbor to attend with their family, who have children ages 5 & 7. Caleb was horrified. I had the displeasure of calling the mother back to tell her "not this time, but thank you so much" and I'm so glad I did...he would have been horrified! He can't stand the hyenas in Lion King. Haha.


Meems had a very special visitor this weekend.  Our friend, Laura Ard, flew down from DC to spend time with her.  Laura lived next door t...