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Characters: ParaNorman

Norman Babcock

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 friend is the ghosts he talks to, but Neil quickly takes a liking to him. When he is suddenly warned that only he can stop the witches curse, everything goes swiftly downhill.

Voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Tropes:

  • Adorably Precocious Child
  • Adorkable
  • 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.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Courtney sees him as this.
  • Badass: He really stood his ground to Aggie's angry ghost.
  • Berserk Button: As friendly as he is, even he got mad at the zombies for what they did to Aggie.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: He gets this from Mr. Prenderghast and 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: His ability to talk to the dead is what helps him learn the zombies intentions and reach through to Aggie.
  • Children Are Innocent: Well, for the most part. He does enjoy scary zombie movies and knows what sex is. ("What are you watching in there?" "Sex and violence.") Other than that, he's a gentle soul who's misunderstood by everyone.
  • Cool Loser
  • Creepy Child: Norman is considered one by the community.
    • 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.
    • Break the Cutie: When he's forced to undo the witch's curse (and goes wrong), as well as appease the spirit of Aggie.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • 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.
    • More specifically...the telltale trait of a seer.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Averted, he doesn't even get tempted to fight back against everyone's judgement of him.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Norman is not exactly Mr. Popular in town.
  • Heroic BSOD: Norman has a psychotic break when he learns that the witch was eleven years old when she died and the witchcraft she was accused of was the ability to talk to ghosts.
  • Improbable Hair Style: Norman's hair is always sticking straight up. Even if he combs it or it gets all mussed up, it'll always pop back to its original stance.
  • In the Blood: Norman's family has a ghost-seeing gene of some sort. Mr. Prenderghast and Aggie have it as well.
  • I See Dead People
  • Kid Hero
  • Loners Are Freaks: Justified with Norman, since the whole town, including his father, tend to scorn him for being able to talk to the dead since no one believes it. It's more of a defense mechanism.
  • Meaningful Name: Norman means "northerner" or "north-man". Even before the Norman conquest in the year 1066, it was used to describe outsiders or people who didn't belong or were not natives.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold/Nice Guy
  • Not So Different: From Agatha.
  • Occult Blue Eyes
  • Protagonist Title: A unique example. His name is part of the movie's title and it's also playing with the term "paranormal".
  • Red Is Heroic: He's The Hero and wears a red jacket and the sleeves of his shirt are red.
  • Restored My Faith In Humanity
  • The Scapegoat: At first.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Norman looks a lot like the witch, Agatha Prenderghast, who's a distant relative on his mother's side.
  • 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.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy
  • 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 believe 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.

Neil Downe

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.

Tropes:

Courtney Babcock

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.

Tropes:

Mitch Downe

The jock, Courtney's crush and Neil's older brother. He of course is caught up in the zombie mess, and becomes a believer in Norman's ability.

Voiced by Casey Affleck.

Tropes:

Alvin

The school bully and resident jerkass. He takes a particular interest in making Norman's day insufferable.

Voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

Tropes:

The Witch's Ghost/Agatha "Aggie" Prenderghast

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. Also she was 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.

Tropes:

  • Berserk Button: Her execution caused the whole curse in the first place.
  • Came Back Strong: She gained most of her powers after her death.
  • Creepy Child: When she's still in her "angered" state. When she's calm, she's really cute.
  • 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.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Not that she was evil to begin with.
  • I See Dead People: It's what got her hanged in the first place.
  • Meaningful Name: Agatha means good. Too bad the townspeople didn't take the hint.
  • 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.

Judge Hopkins

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.

Tropes:

  • Asshole Victim: He and the townspeople deserved their fates, and he fully acknowledges this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He apparently cracked wise about Courtney at one point, but we don't hear what he said because of his zombified state.
  • 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.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He thought he was doing the right thing and protecting the townsfolk by killing Aggie.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Judge's sentencing of a young girl to be hanged for talking to the dead.

Perry Babcock

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.

Tropes:

  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Feels his son needs to stop all this strange talking to the dead nonsense and start acting a bit more normal.
  • Jerkass: At first, even his own mother's ghost called him a jackass.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: 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.
  • So Proud of You: What he says at the end of the film.
  • Tempting Fate: Asking where the police are... about a second later, one literally crashes into him.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: With Sandra.

Sandra Babcock

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.

Tropes:

  • 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?"
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's definitely the nicest of Norman's family after his grandma.

Mr. Prenderghast

Norman's uncle and the town's local crazy man. But what the town doesn't know about the crazy man is he's the only one who's been keeping them safe for untold years...

Voiced by John Goodman.

Tropes:

  • I See Dead People: Just like Norman. Runs in the family.
  • Killed Off for Real: He dies about twenty minutes into the movie and passes on to the other side.
  • Large Ham: Alive and dead.
  • 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.
  • Witch Species: Possibly.

Grandma Babcock

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It seems to run in the family.
    Norman: Dad doesn't want me to talk to you anymore.
    Grandma: Jackass.
  • The Mentor: To Norman.

Salma

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Insufferable Genius: Norman even lampshades it.

The PagemasterCharacterSheets/Animated FilmsPhineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension

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