Animated Creature Feature “ParaNorman” Includes A Gay-Jock Character

In the excellent 3D/stop-motion animated feature, ParaNorman, an 11-year-old who can see ghosts must use his sixth sense to save his town from a supernatural takeover. But more horrific than any of the ghoulies—at least to the homophobes at the Family Research Council—is the fact the film features a gay character.

The likeable, hunky jock, Mitch (voiced by likeable, hunky Casey Affleck) is only revealed to be gay in the film’s final minutes— When asked out by a girl, he replies: “Sure. You’re gonna love my boyfriend. He’s like a total chick-flick nut”—but its still a nice nod to the LGBT community in a genre that generally eschews any explicit gay represenations.

A late-summer flick initially released with little fanfare, ParaNorman has since lit up the Internet with both kudos and gripes about its inclusiveness.

On the religion site Patheos, Nancy French warned of a pending gay invasion in her post ParaNorman Introduces Children to Homosexuality”:

“Parents who take children to the new movie ParaNorman might have to answer unwanted questions about sex…

My friend saw the film in a “red state” and she reported that “you could hear the gasps in the theatre from parents”… This line might not raise parental eyebrows in larger cities, but I thought I’d let parents know about this sexual orientation “reveal” at the end in case you want to avoid these types of conversations in the car on the way home.”

So undead ghouls threatening to eat your children are okay, but well-adjusted gay teens are not? Sheesh, parents like French are really going to lose it when Dory comes out in the Finding Nemo sequel. Well, we can hope…

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  • Shabby Sweater

    Thanks for the spoilers, asshole.

  • jvcarroll

    It’s interesting that these conservatives had no problem with the heterosexual groping, ogling and goosing in this PG [not G] rated film, yet they take issue with one line of dialog about a jock taking his boyfriend to the movies at the very end. I loved this film! Everything about it is beautiful.

  • zaneymcbanes

    Totally agree, love the nod to the LGBT community. When I heard that line I immediately thought, “We’ve won.”

    (Though I must agree, you could have put a spoiler alert…)

  • rayivey

    SHAME ON YOU. The “reveal” about the character being gay is a major joke that happens IN THE LAST TWO MINUTES OF THE MOVIE. Shame on you for spoiling this. Shame, shame shame. Gay politics don’t trump good movie manners.

  • rayivey

    @Shabby Sweater: I’m with you. This was irresponsible and unnecessary posturing. Shame on this blogger.

  • Josh in OR

    The movie’s been out for a month now, folks….at this point, it’s no longer Spoiler territory, given that by this point, many, if not all blogs that care have already addressed the scene.

    To address the actual topic, though, I love how these right ring nutters miss that the line at the end is essentially a “test” to see if the audience has actually paid attention to – and UNDERSTOOD – the message of the movie. The people who flip out and throw a hissy about it clearly did not get the message, and deserve to be ridiculed for their stupidity and ignorance, so that the rest of us (or at least, our straight allies) know who not to breed with.

  • dgmoeller

    I’m not sure 11 year old even qualifies as a teen. didn’t that used to mean thirteen? I guess I am just old, at 11 I was really not even aware of any sexual desire yet. Still just liked a girl in elementary school and playing with toys and stuff.

  • tdx3fan

    @dgmoeller: Kids grow up faster these days, but I still do not understand how kids can be so sure of things at such a young age. However, I think it is so much easier to come out in general now that it kids are more capable of being honest with themselves.

    I was most definitely attracted to men at the age of 12-13. I was majorly attracted to quite a few adult men that I knew. It was not uncommon at all for me to jack off while fantasizing about these men. However, I did not actually have any real sexual experience with men until around 18, and the first time was just not any fun at all. Eventually, I realized I was gay (somewhere around 20-21) and then I spent about 10 years trying to change that (from around 22-31). Eventually, I came to terms with it.

    I envy these kids that are so able to accept themselves at such a young age, but that is significant of a change in the overall culture. It was not that uncommon 10 years ago for people to diminish the relationships of gays and lesbians, but now to even remotely suggest that there is something wrong with a homosexual relationship in polite company earns you a very well deserved title of bigot.

  • KJ

    I’m glad I wasn’t aware of this spoiler when I saw the movie last week, as the line gave me the best laugh I’ve had in the movie theater in a very long time. Making it even sweeter, it was the first outing with my 11 year old nephew since he had figured out I’m gay. One of the themes of the movie is forgiveness in the face of harm done out of fear, which led to a great follow-up discussion with the nephew. Loved it!

  • defused73

    My partner and I were completely delighted about that line in the movie. It’s unlikely that a child would notice…unless their conservative, loud mouth parent when on a gay-bashing parade.

  • zintheth

    Yes!! I thought no one else had noticed that line! My girlfriend and I were in awe when we heard it, seemed to good to be true.
    Also, no one seemed to notice it, or they weren’t as shocked as the woman from the post mentioned, and the theater manager certainly didn’t offer us a refund either. It was really nice to see a gay character’s sexuality presented in such a nonchalant manner.

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