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A boy who can see and talk to the dead. Due to this being common knowledge he is an outcast in the community and even among his family. Despite being bullied by nearly everyone he knows, Norman just tries to get on with his life. At first his only friends are the ghosts he talks to, but Neil quickly takes a liking to him. When he is suddenly warned that only he can stop the witch's curse, everything goes swiftly downhill.Voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee.
All of the Other Reindeer: Norman tries to take the constant bullying with grace but often finds his heroics hampered by almost every living person's low opinion of him.
Break the Cutie: When he's forced to undo the witch's curse (and goes wrong), as well as appease the spirit of Aggie.
Butt Monkey: Treated like crap by everyone, including his own family, for being able to talk to ghosts. The thing is, he can see the ghosts, while normal people can't, and thus is depicted as a schizophrenic Creepy Child by the townsfolk.
The Cassandra: Norman has apparently told a lot of people about his ability, and they all think he's either insane or lying for attention, but worthy of ridicule either way. Makes it really difficult to get support when the dead actually rise.
The ghost community, on the other hand, is quite friendly to him.
The Cutie: Very innocent, kindhearted and cute; even though he's treated badly by everyone, he doesn't even give it a second thought to be mean back. Much unlike his Distaff Counterpart Agatha Prenderghast.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Norman has to fight a supernatural menace to protect a town that largely scorns him, only to find a growing number of the townspeople realize that his ability is to speak to the dead is real and they are ready to help him in the crisis, until by the end, he is hailed as a fearless hero with an extraordinary ability.
Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Norman fits the physical description, but he's actually a very nice person. He just happens to see ghosts.
Exotic Eye Designs: Norman's irises and pupils are faceted. It appears to be a family trait as both Mr. Prenderghast and Aggie have faceted eyes as well.
Take a Third Option: Initially believe that reading the fairy tale story to the ghost would sedate her, but over the course of the movie comes to realize it won't fix the problem, just prolong it. So he directly confronts Agatha and shows that he knows how she feels, ultimately calming her spirit down till she finally passes on peacefully.
The Unfavourite: Norman seems to be for his parents, mostly his father, but it's implied not to be the case anymore at the end. Norman is the favourite to his grandmother, though. The whole reason she's still around is because she promised to protect Norman.
Wise Beyond Their Years: What he says to Aggie regarding revenge doesn't sound like something that would come out of an 11-year old's mouth.
Agatha: This story you were telling...how does it end?
Norman: I think that's up to you.
Witch Species: Hinted at since he's a descendant of the Prenderghast bloodline.
Zombie Advocate: When he realizes that the zombies have intelligence and are afraid too.
Norman's best and at first, only real friend. He thinks Norman is cool because he is different and is the first to recognize a good side to his gift. Even if he's not always the brightest, he's full of heart and surprisingly brave.Voiced by Tucker Albrizzi.
Badass: When Judge Hopkins rips through the roof of Mitch's van, Neil immediately holds him in a headlock.
Neil: Don't make me throw this hummus, it's spicy!
Book Dumb: Expresses triumph at reading a 27 page booklet on asbestos. Ironically, his best friend other than Norman is Child Prodigy Salma.
Cheerful Child: Perhaps because his Lovable Jock older brother clearly cares for and looks after him. Also, their home has a very colorfully decorated yard as compared to other homes shown in Blithe Hollow, so it may be a family thing generally.
Covert Pervert: He watches his mom's exercise tapes and he likes to freeze frame the parts with the aerobics instructor.
Norman's older sister who like everyone else, frowns upon on his gift. Initially coming across as a rather typical self-absorbed teen, she of course finds herself caught up in the zombie invasion and even calls out the townspeople for trying to lynch Norman.Voiced by Anna Kendrick.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Courtney starts out as a typical self-centered teenaged girl, but she's not a bad person at heart. She steps up her game later on and she's the first one to stand up to the townsfolk to give her little brother a break.
Oblivious to Love: Mitch seems to have absolutely no clue Courtney is constantly trying to flirt with him. Turns out he's gay, but he still clearly has a case of this in that he only mentioned it incidentally after failing to notice Courtney's advances for most of the movie.
Shirtless Scene: When he first appears, he has just come out of the shower wearing nothing but a towel, and Courtney audibly pouts when he goes to get dressed.
Sorry, I'm Gay: Invokes this without even realizing he's doing it when he responds to Courtney's flirtatious suggestion that they go on a (non-horror) movie date by telling her that she's going to love his boyfriend, who is very into chick flicks.
Top-Heavy Guy: His upper-body is extremely muscular, but tapers down to a waist smaller than Courtney's and his legs are shorter than the distance from his waist to his neck.
The school bully and resident jerkass. He takes a particular interest in making Norman's day insufferable.Voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Book Dumb: The guy couldn't even spell his own name for crying out loud!
Casanova Wannabe: Repeatedly tries to impress a couple of girls, and also hits on Courtney.
Enemy Mine: The moment evil spirits and zombies turn up, his grudge against Norman is immediately set aside.
Heel-Face Turn: Well, sort of. He stops bullying Norman by the end of the movie, and even protects him (along with Courtney, Neil and Mitch) from being slaughtered by the whole town. Although, possibly, he could be acting this way in order to impress people, especially Courtney.
Hypocrite: Picks on Neil for being fat, whilst being far from a beacon of physical health himself.
Jerkass: At first. Though he only mellows slightly.
Click here to see her true form (Warning: Spoilers)
Legendary Witch of Blithe Hollow. Her fame is what raised the town's economy and her curse is equally famous. She was actually an innocent girl who was put to death because the Puritans were afraid of her ability to talk to the dead. Her angry spirit can only be sedated by reading her a story from her mother's book of fairy tales.Voiced by Jodelle Ferland.
Creepy Child: When she's still in her "angered" state. When she's calm, she's really cute.
Dark Is Not Evil: The terrifying witch face in the storm clouds is actually based on the popular depictions of the legendary "witch" of Blithe Hollow. In reality, she's just a little girl who is so lost in the rage over her unjust execution that she has forgotten most of her life, and even her name.
Deranged Animation: When her ghost starts to get mad or lose control, her shape distorts into very disturbing shapes.
Evil Is Petty: Averted. She wasn't cursing the town to be attacked by zombies, she was cursing the zombies to go through the same thing she went through.
Family-Unfriendly Death: The thought of an innocent 11-year-old girl being sentenced to hanging is very unsettling.
From Nobody to Nightmare: The witch's ghost used to be a sweet little girl whose only power was the ability to see ghosts. Her other, more terrifying powers only emerged after the townsfolk sentenced her to death by hanging.
The Heavy: Even with the revelation that she isn't a Big Bad character history made her out to be, she still had to be dealt with.
Meaningful Name: Agatha means 'good'. Too bad the townspeople didn't take the hint.
Mind over Matter: To the extent of controlling the weather. She also creates ghostly hands that lift the bronze witch statue in front of town hall high into the air and drops it to shatter it, as well as smashing witch-themed structures all over town. She even hurls cars around!
Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Very much like Norman. When she was alive, she was apparently closest to the ghosts she could see and speak to. She also greatly loved her mother, who she tragically never saw again after they arrested her for witchcraft.
Reality Warper: In the final confrontation with Norman she first animates all the trees in the forest, and causes spiky roots to burst from the ground to try to impale him. Then she seemingly blasts the entire forest into a barren wasteland. Then she shatters the landscape entirely, reducing it to shards of Earth floating in some kind of ethereal plane. Finally, when Norman manages to reach her, the forest reverts to how it appeared during her lifetime. Once she passes on it resumes its real appearance.
She Who Fights Monsters: Norman calls her out for wanting to hurt people just because she's scared and angry, just like the townspeople did to her.
Shock and Awe: When she's angry her spirit looks to be made of lightning.
Witch Curse: Cast upon the judges who had her hanged, dooming them to rise as the living dead. Eventually becomes a Deconstructed Trope: the curse results from the cruel execution of Agatha, who was just a misunderstood girl, and the curse isn't about terrorizing the town, but rather, about having the undead judges forced to suffer the same persecution she faced.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The "witch" is an (extremely psychically powerful) little girl who lost it when she was accused and executed.
The Judge who sentenced the witch to death 300 years prior. He operates as the de-facto leader of the zombies, and is given most of the "speaking" lines ghoulish or otherwise associated with the zombies.Voiced by Bernard Hill.
Anti-Villain: While his actions were rather merciless, he did genuinely think it was for the best. Currently, he's a miserable zombie completely overwhelmed by his guilt, and only seeks to atone for his sins.
Asshole Victim: He and the townspeople deserved their fates, and he fully acknowledges this.
The Atoner: He seeks to redeem the harm he's caused when he ordered Agatha's execution.
Bigger Bad: He started the whole mess. Averted by the fact he is trying to redeem himself and the other Zombies.
Deadpan Snarker: He apparently cracked wise about Courtney at one point, but we don't hear what he said because of his zombified state.
Karmic Transformation: Enforced by Agatha. The founders killed her for speaking to the dead, and she cursed them to return as zombies that were feared, hated, and attacked by society the same way they feared, hated and attacked her. The only way for them to return to normal is by acquiring the help of a little boy with the same power that they killed Agatha for possessing. Agatha herself defends her choice to curse them by telling Norman "Now everyone can see how ugly they are."
Our Zombies Are Different: The Judge and the other zombies are a very rare Type R: Revenant. They have intelligence, and they aren't hungry for brains, but like any Type R, they are driven by a single, burning purpose. In their case, they only want to break Agatha's cycle so they may finally rest in peace.
Would Hurt a Child: The Judge's sentencing of a young girl to be hanged for talking to the dead.
Norman's father. He at first is ashamed of Norman's oddball behavior, and isn't afraid to criticize him. Though this is born from the fear of how society will treat him. He sees the error of his ways and mends his behavior.Voiced by Jeff Garlin.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even his own mother's ghost called him a jackass. His wife is quick to point out his more harsh behavior is due to his fear of how people will perceive Norman. Considering the misery it causes his son in school and that later in the story an angry mob is literally moments from burning him at the stake it's not an unreasonable fear.
Tempting Fate: Asking where the police are... about a second later, one literally crashes into him.
Norman's mother. Whilst not exactly openly supportive of his gift, she does attempt to be more understanding than her husband. Which does cause some noticeable friction between them.Voiced by Leslie Mann.
Captain Obvious: Upon seeing the huge, unnatural green-and-purple storm cloud in the sky over the spot where the witch was buried, she asks, "Ooh, do you think this is the place?"
Granola Girl: A downplayed version. Some of her dialogue indicates that she believes in things like auras and astrology.
Madden Into Misanthropy: Years of isolation and deteriorating health fostered in him a heavy contempt for the residents of Blithe Hollow, who he frequently belittles for not taking him seriously. Probably the only reason he even protected them for as long as he did was because it was all he had left, and he's more than happy to pass the buck to Norman the first chance he gets.
Meaningful Name: Prenderghast literally means "ghost catcher" or "ghost holder".
Occult Blue Eyes: Just like Agatha, blue eyes to reference his ability to see ghosts.
Take Up My Sword: To Norman as he knows he's dying and wants someone to hold off the Witch's curse.
Norman's ghost grandmother. Grandma Babcock's unfinished business in the mortal world is actually the promise she would look out for Norman.Voiced by Elaine Stritch.
Cool Old Lady: Ghosts only stay around in the world of the living because they have unfinished business. Grandma Babcock's unfinished business? She promised she would always look out for Norman.
Norman: Dad doesn't want me to talk to you anymore.
Neil's friend and the resident smart girl. She won't let you forget it. Doesn't participate much in the adventure, but does perform key research in a time of need.Voiced by Hannah Noyes.
Child Prodigy: IQ 192 and enough awards and certificates to cover a top-tier college physics professor's office walls. Apparently specializes in nuclear fusion.
The Comically Serious: When she's forced to be the witch in a play; she seems pretty bored when she has her lines.
Expy: On the audio commentary, it is brought up that Salma's role in the movie is basically Velma of Scooby-Doo fame in a more modern setting, meaning that she isn't part of the adventure and is only contacted for information. Although they lampshade this themselves in the movie:
Salma: So, Norman, let me get this straight. You guys all go on this big supernatural adventure, and you're calling me in the middle of the night, because you need someone to help you do your homework?
Foreshadowing: She is the witch on the school play, and she complains about the witch being a stereotypical ugly old woman. And she's right, Aggie is nothing like that.