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August 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The animated ParaNorman is generally drawing favorable reviews, but those critics who dislike it do so intensely. Manohla Dargis, the generally tough critic for the New York Times, calls it “beautiful-looking, charmingly heartfelt.” Each scene, she writes, is turned “into an occasion for discovery and sometimes delight.” And Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, who can also be tough, and has been so with many of this year’s blockbusters, writes that what gives it a special distinction is that “in this summer of 2012, ParaNorman is one of the good movies.” It “blends its strains of zombie movie tropes, supernatural curses and stoical, misunderstood preteens with a careful hand,” he writes. And Linda Barnard in the Toronto Star praises “the quick-witted script and visual puns.” On the other hand, Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News calls it “slow as a corpse and half as interesting.” And Ty Burr in the Boston Globe has a warning for parents. Noting that the film, with its PG rating, is being advertised as “a gruesome but essentially high-spirited family-friendly romp,” Burr remarks, “I suppose that’s true if you don’t mind your 6-year-old put into clinical shock by the sight of slavering, dismembered creatures coming at them in 3D.” Acknowledging the “painstaking craftsmanship” of the filmmakers, Burr remarks that they may have dived “so deeply into the making of this movie that they forgot who they were making it for.”