If I’m being kind, I can say that Norm of the North is a family friendly adventure that holds a valuable message for youngsters about keeping our habitats intact and protecting our Earth and environment. If I’m not being kind, I can say that Norm of the North is a cookie cutter cartoon movie that had a bigger music sync budget than an animation budget and the lesson that it’s trying to share has been shared twice with Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two. So, yeah… Norm of the North is a bit of a mixed bag that’s not going to be worth watching outside of some family time on family movie night.
Norm (Rob Schneider) is an odd polar bear in the arctic that doesn’t really know who he is. He’s not a hunter, he’s a different kind of bear. When he finds out that the evil Mr. Greene (Ken Jeong) is set to develop the artic with homes for humans to live in, Norm decides to travel to New York, talk to Greene, and put a stop to it. It’s there that Norm’s recruited to actually be the pitchman for the Greene homes and he has to navigate his way through his moral issues while keeping his home safe from the outside world.
If there’s a good thing about this movie, it’s that the voice casting isn’t bad. Schneider could really do more cartoons than he’s doing now. He’s perfect for it. Heather Graham did a great job here. As did Ken Jeong, Bill Nighy, and Gabriel Iglesias. It’s a good voice cast that entertaining and fun to watch. It’s also a decent story – there’s not a ton to love about it, but kids will like it, and that’s what’s important.
If I’m being honest that story will wear on grownups the first time through, but it’s far from the worst part of the film. That belongs to the animation quality. This looks like one of the rip-off movies on Netflix that come out the same time as a big family movie that comes out. Karate Panda had better animation than Norm of the North. It’s sub-par in that department and it really feels like there wasn’t an attempt to make it better than it was.
Norm of the North isn’t a bad family film, but it’s far from being good either. It’s hard for me to place where it goes because I can honestly see sets of kids liking it. Unfortunately, I can also see parents and grownups not being able to stand this. It’s rough to look at and it’s worse to follow. Still, it’s not without its value if your kids want to pick it up on Digital or Combo pack.
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