As a kid, I grew up watching The Goonies, Flight of the Navigator, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Gremlins, Munchie, The Princess Bride, My Best Friend Is A Vampire, Ghostbusters and other films with swearing and rather dark topics and references to sex, when you think deeply about it. And the thing is, you can't say these films aren't aimed at kids any more than you can say these films are only suitable for adults.
And ParaNorman's very much the same. It is a bit dark, it deals with death, and there's references to sex, and there's also toilet humour, zombies and horror galore, which there has to be, given the topic of the film. But not every film aimed at kids has to be all light and fluffy, just to protect the children's delicate sensibilities. I thought, underneath the funny gags, this film has it all. It has elements of all those classic Kids-to-teen live-action adventure films, with elements from classic horror films we all must have seen at some point during our childhood. The only difference is, really, is that it's animated. Like Shrek was, and that's not 100% clean cut either.
ParaNorman is fantastic! It's funny and it's very touching. It deals with a child who is so different to everyone without him being "the problem", who finds his place in the world and people who like him without having to change. It has a very real-life family dynamic, even down to one parent who says un-PC things that, despite this PC-heavy climate these days, are still found in real life. What people need to realise is everyone has the right to see themselves in the characters that are shown in films, and still deserve the message that they're alright and they're going to be ok too, and that parents make mistakes but hopefully they'll come around. And I think this film does it brilliantly.
If it upsets your kid, then alright, maybe your kid isn't ready for this kind of film. Maybe it's not your kid's cup of tea. Maybe your kid finds it boring because they can't relate to it. That's fair enough. But you can't insult the topics and depths of this film just because you see it through adult's eyes.
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