Directed by: Sam Fell
Chris Butler
Produced by: Travis Knight
Arianne Sutner
Written by: Arianne Sutner
Stephen Stone
Starring: (see below)
Music by: Jon Brion
Editing by: Christopher Murrie
Studio: Laika
Distributed by: Focus Features
Release date: August 17, 2012
Running time: 92 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $60 million
Box office: $107, 139, 399

ParaNorman is a 2012 comedy-horror family film produced by Laika and released by Focus Features. It was released on August 17, 2012. The film centers around a young boy who can communicate with the dead, and must use his ability when the town he resides in comes under siege by zombies, ghosts, and witches.

The film received  largely positive reviews from critics, while it was a modest box-office success, earning $107 million. The film was nominated for the 2012 Academy Award for Best animated Feature, but lost to Brave.


Norman Babcock is an eleven year old boy living in the town of Blithe Hollow who can speak to the dead. However, his family and peers believe him to be lying, and he is constantly ridiculed, primarily by his teenage sister Courtney and the school bully Alvin.

During a school play detailing the trial and execution of the town's witch, Norman has a vision of the witch's accusers, earning him more scorn from his classmates. However, Neil Downe, another outcast, manages to befriend Norman, honestly believing his gift is real. Shortly afterwards, Norman's uncle and local lunatic, Mr. Prenderghast, informs Norman that he too can communicate with the dead and also tells him that the witch's ghost is real, along with the curse she cast upon the town after her death, and he must use his gift to stop her. Prenderghast dies shortly afterwards.

Norman later makes a fool out of himself at the school play when he has another vision of being pursued by the townspeople during the witch hunt, and is promptly grounded by his father.

Norman, while hiding away from his bullying classmates the next day at school, is confronted by Mr. Prenderghast's ghost, who once again notifies of the witch's ghost and telling him that she will wake up tonight and raise the accursed dead, and to keep this from happening, Norman must read Prenderghast's book at her grave. Norman reluctantly agrees and after being comforted by the ghost of his grandmother, Norman sets off to retrieve Mr. Prenderghast's book. However, he is unknowingly followed by Alvin.

After successfully recovering the book, Norman reads it at the burial sight of the witch's seven accusers. However, the book is revealed to be nothing more than fairy tales, much to Norman's confusion. Alvin interrupts him and steals the book, allowing the witch's ghost to awaken and her accusers to rise from the dead. Norman attempts to sedate them by reading the book to them, but finds them to not be affected, to which he and Alvin flee. The two hide in Mr. Prenderghast's house, where Norman comes to the conclusion that the reason him reading the book didn't work was because the witch was not buried with her accusers.

Norman and Alvin are picked up by Courtney, Neil, and Neil's older brother Mitch, and the five are pursued by the zombies into the town. On the way, Norman is informed by his classmate Salma that the witch was tried in the Town Hall, so there may be records of her burial in the town archives. Norman complies and tells Courtney to drive him to the Town Hall, but they drive the car off the road and crash it, much to Mitch's frustration.

The group make there way to the Town Hall while the zombies are attacked by the townspeople. However, when they reach the archives, they fail to find information on the witch's burial sight. After another confrontation with the zombies, the witch's ghost attacks Norman and destroys the book, knocking him unconscious in the process.

While unconscious, Norman has another vision where he discovers that the witch was a young girl named Agatha Prenderghast, and she was executed because she could also speak to the dead. Upon awakening, the guilt-ridden zombies inform Norman that they only wanted to speak to him to ask him to stop the curse. Norman conforms and opts to speak to Agatha instead of reading the book to her. However, before he and the zombies can make it far, an angry mob assembles and tries to destroy the zombies. However, Courtney gets the mob to back down, leading Agatha's ghost to go on a rampage through the town.

Judge Hopkins, the leader of the zombies, guides Norman to Agatha's burial sight, where Norman attempts to convince Agatha to stop her curse. Agatha refuses to listen initially, but after Norman tells her she is becoming just like her accusers, she starts reconsidering. Norman tells her to remember the people who loved her, leading her to remember her mother. Finding a measure of peace, Agatha passes on to the afterlife, along with the zombies.

At the end of the film, Norman and his family reconcile and watch a zombie movie.


  • Kodi Smit-McPhee as Norman Babcock - An eleven-year-old medium and a social outcast. He is the main protagonist.
  • Bernard Hill as Judge Hopkins - The leader of the zombie horde. The main antagonist.
  • Tucker Albrizzi as Neil Downe - Norman's chubby best friend. The deuteragonist.
  • Casey Affleck as Mitch Downe - Neil's older brother. The tritagonist.
  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Alvin - A school bully and Norman's former nemesis. The tetartagonist.
  • Anna Kendrick as Courtney Babock - Norman's teenage sister. The pentagonist.
  • Leslie Mann as Sondra Babcock - Norman's mother. The secondary antagonist.
  • Jeff Garlin as Perry Babcock - Norman's father. The tertiary antagonist.
  • Elaine Stritch as Grandma Babcock - Norman's deceased grandmother.
  • Jodelle Ferland as Agatha Prenderghast - An alleged child witch.
  • Tempestt Bledsoe as Sheriff Hooper - A police officer.
  • Alex Borstein as Mrs. Henscher - Norman's drama teacher.
  • John Goodman as Mr. Prenderghast - Norman's uncle.

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