Review: ‘ParaNorman’ (PG) ***

AFTER the screening of Chris Butler’s animated zombie-based satire in contemporary American society, two little girls with their mother reckoned they had seen a scary movie.

That’s useful information for parents wondering whether to send their little darlings to see it in air-conditioned escape from the heat. It’s about a small town where three centuries ago the people hanged one of their number as a witch who before she died put an ongoing curse on the whole community until it made a suitable apology for that barbaric judicial murder.

Which is where primary-school student Norman comes in. Voiced by Australian Kody Smit-McPhee, Norman has regular conversations with his grandma (Elaine Stritch). His obese father (Perry Babcock), ditzy mom (Leslie Mann) and bitchy steatopygous elder sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick) give Norman a hard time, because Grandma has been several years dead.

Plot-wise, “ParaNorman” follows a fairly predictable path, as Norman and his obese schoolmate Neil (Tucker Albrizzi) cope with schoolyard bullying and demented ghoulies and ghosties looking for a less-uncomfortable death-style. Getting resolution offers imaginative animation artwork that loses few opportunities to tell adult cinema-goers with a mind to be aware of it, about group behaviour, diet, social prejudices and other standard clichés of living in the US.

At Hoyts. Dendy and Limelight

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