Norm of the North

Hey kids, can you say B-movie? Because that’s what this one is! Big disappointment. Boring. Badly plotted. Blearily devoid of charm. Bland. Bargain-bin. I’m not even sure how this one made it to the theatres considering how low-budget it feels.

Norm of the North feels shoddily and hastily put together with a barely-there eco-friendly message and not much else. Norm is a polar bear, and he dances images1OQMF438and also speaks human. That’s it. That’s the whole she-bang. Sorry I ruined it for you, but you’ve seen it before, and you’ve definitely seen it done better. The bar is set so low that any random episode of Paw Patrol will be more entertaining for your kids and less annoying for you. Yeah, I said it.

And the voice cast? The thing that’s easiest to hit out of the park? Norm of the North gets an F. Talk about B-list (or C-list)  (or D-list, let’s be honest) celebrities: Rob Schneider and Heather Graham. I mean – seriously? Did they norm-of-the-northrecord all of the voices on Oscar night or something? Like, which “celebrity” is not only not invited to the Academy Awards, but not to any of the post-Oscar parties either, and doesn’t even have friends or cable TV to be watching them from home, and doesn’t have a job to go to Monday morning that they’re getting to bed early for? And so they called Balki from Perfect Strangers and he was busy. And they called Tori Spelling and she said no. Screech from Saved By The Bell thought the script was lame. Carrot Top thought it might compromise his artistic integrity. And on and on through a rolodex of reality-TV “personalities” until they finally scraped the bottom of the barrel, and guess who was there, desperate for a pay cheque?

(Apologies to Bill Nighy who somehow got tangled up in this mess, and to Gabriel Iglesias who did punch things up a bit.)

yayomg-norm-of-the-north-quiz-5I was unprepared for how bland and pointless Norm of the North would be. How can you release this alongside Pixar fare and think you deserve to be there? It’s like hanging one of my kindergarten macaroni Christmas ornaments at the Louvre and not being embarrassed. The only thing I can console myself with is that it did set a record for worst opening for an animated feature and so maybe, just maybe, Lionsgate learned a lesson in humility.

 

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21 thoughts on “Norm of the North

  1. Christopher

    This review is a thing of beauty, but it’s bittersweet because it confirms my worst fears about this film. From the trailers I was afraid it would be tripe, but now it sounds like that’s an insult to tripe.
    Still I had a tiny spark of hope that Norm Of The North would be at least partly based on Daniel Pinkwater’s “Ice Cream Larry” books about a polar bear who becomes a spokesperson for an ice cream company and develops codfish and blueberry-flavored ice cream for Baffin Bay residents.
    I’m not sure how well Pinkwater’s weird humor would translate to the big screen but even if it failed it would have been better than this.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, I think you’re right. This one feels like a very cheap rip-off of Happy Feet. You want to champion its “protect the Arctic” theme but you honestly just can’t get behind anything about this movie, it’s just so lackluster. At least a Pinkwater adaptation would have been original!

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  2. Sarca

    Ugh, I could see this awfulness from a mile away.
    What a waste of 0s and 1s too.
    Honestly, I love love love animated films, but am having a hard time watching the adapted “kids flicks with infused adult humour so parents aren’t bored shtick” lately. But really, how the hell can Hollywood improve on this? Wait, I know! Quit being so derivative! We’ve seen the North Pole stuff already…move on! Next!

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  3. Liz A.

    Is this the movie I kept seeing ads about but could never quite figure out what it’s about? I attributed that to skipping the commercials and only catching a glimpse of part of the ad.

    It doesn’t matter how awful it is. I’ll probably still end up showing it in some class one of these days.

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