Sam Fell
Chris Butler


Travis Knight
Arianne Sutner



Distributed by

Focus Features
Universal Pictures


August 3, 2012 (Mexico)
August 17, 2012 (United States)

Running time

92 minutes

ParaNorman is a 2012 stop-motion animated comedy-horror film released on August 17, 2012 directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler and starring Kodi-Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. It premiered in Mexico in August 3, 2012 before being released internationally on August 17, 2012.


Norman Babcock, an 11-year-old boy living in Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts, and possesses the ability to communicate with the dead. Though he is wildly popular among the many ghosts residing in Blithe Hollow, Norman is ostracized by by his family, consisting of his sister Courtney and his parents Perry and Sandra while at school he is constantly mistreated by school bully Alvin.

During rehearsals for the upcoming school play detailing the trial and execution of the infamous Blithe Hollow witch as well as her subsequent curse over the town, Norman has a brief vision of the trial and makes a fool out of himself in front of the other students. Norman is then confronted by his estranged uncle Mr. Prenderghast, who reveals he too can speak to ghosts and tells Norman that the witch's curse is real and he must take up a ritual to prevent it. Norman disregards Prenderghast's warning and befriends fellow outcast Neil Downe against the wishes of Neil's brother Mitch who Courtney harbors a crush on.

On the night of the school play, Norman has another vision of being pursued by the townspeople during the witch hunt and is subsequently grounded by Perry and ridiculed further by his classmates. While hiding in the school bathroom, Norman is visited by the ghost of Mr. Prenderghast, who passed away the other day. Mr. Prenderghast's ghost tells Norman to read a certain book at the witch's grave or else the witch will raise the dead. Norman, finally realizing the gravity of the situation, complies and sets off towards Mr. Prenderghast's house, but not before telling Neil of the situation at hand.

While Norman succeeds in finding the book, which turns out to be a collection of fairy tales, his mission is complicated by the arrival of Alvin as well as having no knowledge of the witch's burial grounds. This allows the witch's ghost to awaken and the witch's seven accusers to rise from the grave as zombies. As Norman and Alvin panic, the leader of the zombies, Judge Hopkins, briefly appears to communicate to Norman before the two boys flee in terror. At the same time, Neil confesses to Mitch and Courtney of Norman's whereabouts at the graveyard and the trio drive there and rescue the two boys, but Hopkins grabs hold of the van as it drives off.

Norman is told via cellphone by his classmate Salma that the witch was tried in the Town Hall and records of her burial should be in the archives. After crashing the van, the group continues on foot to the Town Hall while the zombies, who had followed them into the town, are mobbed by the local townspeople.

Though the group reach the archives, they fail to find the information on the witch's burial site. The group begins to doubt Norman once more and disbands, but are trapped inside the Town Hall by the recently-assembled mob, who sets the Town Hall on fire. Norman is then confronted by the zombies and pursued to to the roof of the Town Hall, there the witch's ghost descends from above. Norman attempts to read the book to her, but the witch strikes him with lightning, knocking him unconscious.

While unconscious, Norman has a dream where he witnesses the witch's trial, discovering the witch to be a pre-teen girl named Agatha Prenderghast, who could also communicate with the dead. Upon awakening, Judge Hopkins admits to Norman that he wanted him to take up the ritual to put Agatha to rest to minimize the harm of his actions towards her. However, Norman and the zombies are cornered by the mob. However, Courtney convinces the mob to back down, resulting in Agatha's enraged ghost to go on a rampage.

Directed to Agatha's grave by Judge Hopkins, Norman confronts Agatha in the spirit dimension and reasons with her infuriated ghost, enduring her attack until she finally calms down. After a short conversation in which Agatha reminiscences memories of her mother, she finally passes onto the afterlife, along with the zombies.

The town later rationalizes the event as a mystery tornado while Norman bonds with his family, watching a zombie movie with them.

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