A family zom-com

Undated Film Still Handout from ParaNorman 3D. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/UPI Media. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout from ParaNorman 3D. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/UPI Media. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

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Paranorman 3D (PG, 92 mins)
Animation/Family/Comedy/Horror
The voices of Kody Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
 Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Released: Friday September 14

You wait decades for an intelligent, visual stunning and hilarious stop-motion 3D animation about a little boy battling zombie hordes and, lo and behold, two come along at the same time.

Next month, Tim Burton unveils his black and white childhood fable Frankenweenie, but this week, directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell spoil us with this beautifully crafted tale of a young misfit in his sleepy New England town of Blithe Hollow, which is coming under zombie attack.

ParaNorman is aimed at family audiences but parents and teenagers will undoubtedly laugh loudest during Butler and Fell’s colourful romp, which pokes fun at the conventions of the horror genre.

Visuals burst with vibrant colour and the attention to detail is remarkable, even in frenetic action scenes when dozens of characters litter the screen in eye-popping 3D.

Young children might be slightly unnerved by severed limbs that scuttle around of their own accord but violence is cartoonish and scares are gentle.

Treats outnumber tricks in this ghoulishly grand adventure.

n Swearing, No Sex, Violence
n Rating: 7/10