Movie review: ParaNorman

From the August 16, 2012 edition

I know a thing or two about being the weird kid growing up. (I know, shocking, right?) “ParaNorman” is a movie for the weird kids — or the grown-ups who can still relate.

From the makers of “Coraline,” it shares that stop-motion animation style as well as a flair for the slightly dark, slightly sweet, wholly offbeat — a nice change of pace for an animated flick.

Norman Babcock (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee of “The Road” and “Let Me In”) is a “normal” weird kid. He likes B-horror movies. He’s a misfit at school. Oh, and he can also talk to the dead.

The fact that Norman can go all “Sixth Sense” is part of what makes him a social outcast — but it comes in pretty handy in the case of a zombie outbreak in his sleepy town.

“ParaNorman” is the perfect gateway movie for young parents hoping to introduce their children to the wonderful world of zombies. The generation that grew up on Goosebumps books and “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” can appreciate kid-friendly scares that don’t skimp on the creeps.

The stop-motion animation is also a visual treat — though probably not worth the upgrade to a 3D ticket.

The setup is a blast, though it lingers just a bit too long on the finish. Still, it’s a firm recommendation for weird kids — or even former weird-kid date nights.