An interesting thing happened after the animated flick ParaNorman hit theaters. While the critics, and most fans, seemed to love the film, it seems like some were caught off guard by the revelation that one of the film’s characters was gay.

Despite not making a big deal about the character’s sexual orientation throughout the film, (it is revealed nonchalantly at the end of the film), some were critical of the mention at all—as if the knowledge that gay people exist will somehow harm their children.

From the IMDB board:

“People can be as PC as they like. Brought my son to this and the movie was fantastic. But the end with the plug for a lifestyle choice was not needed. Dont create a film for children and force me to have a discussion about “why did he say that dad” because someone sexual preference is their personsl choice and doesnt have to be advertised to our youth…period”

While it’s certainly up to parents to teach their own values to their children, getting offended at the mere mention of gay people seems a bit much. Moreover, the argument about “advertising” sexuality is ironic considering no one seems to care when kids are exposed to two heterosexual characters kissing. Isn’t that an “advertisement” as well?

But what do you think?

Should films geared toward children downplay the existence of gay people? Or should they be incorporated like everyone else?

Did you see ParaNorman? Speak on it Clutchettes and Gents! 

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  • It was a harmless joke. Get over yourself. Being gay is not a big deal unless you make it one. And if you’re afraid to explain it to kids just say “hey some guys date guys… and some ladies date ladies” You will be surprised how well your kids can handle that. If you can’t do that, then you need to look deeper into your own fears and ignorance.

  • Rand

    But it’s not too much at all, it’s one line to show that this character, who fits in very well with all of the other odd characters of the movie (Norman is very much the only sane character), just so happens to be gay. You say you want to promote tolerance and respect, and that’s how it’s done. By showing children that people who are different from us are still human (in all of our flawed wonder), and that they don’t have to be defined by their labels.
    That one line helped show children that ‘gay’ isn’t an insult to be hurled across the playground (and if you want to mess with a child’s developing sexuality, then by all means encouraged them to use the word as a pejorative), but rather as just another state of being. I applaud the creators of Paranorman for bringing children’s entertainment into the twenty-first century. Yes, the stereotypical jock can be homosexual, and you wouldn’t know it.
    By the way, the joke wasn’t that he was gay, it was the realization that the teen girl character’s efforts to get his attention through the movie had been in vain. That was why I laughed.

  • H

    Children should not be exposed to that. Enough said.