Norm of the North

Norm of the North (Blacksheep Productions)
Norm of the North (Blacksheep Productions)

What it’s about:

When his home is threatened by a wealthy real estate developer Norm the polar bear, who will soon become king, goes on an adventure to save not only his way of life but his ice kingdom’s future. 

What we thought:

It’s important to say that I love animated movies and series and view them as a many splendored genre with it’s own sub-genres from new and dark like Adventure Time to anime to the classics like Fantasia so I make a point of watching as many as possible and yes almost everything has it’s redeeming qualities. 

But that being said this film is in a word: terrible. One could argue that a four year old or younger would enjoy it but one would be underestimating the intelligence of a toddling audience. 

There are a few moments of slapstick humour that made me laugh, sure, but if you are into spending your hard earned cash on that I would splurge elsewhere. On a season of Phineas and Ferb maybe that is by almost all accounts a better product that knows how to nail the physical humour. 

If this film was released 10 or 12 years ago direct to DVD or TV maybe I would be more forgiving but in the age of Pixar it falls below the well established and Oscar nominated benchmark. There are plot holes and a variety of poor quality issues throughout that make it hard to suspend your disbelief that a polar bear could prance around New York City and execute masterful corporate sabotage. This would be less of an issue if other movies hadn’t done it so expertly like, if only for a few hours, making you believe that toys could talk or that there’s a giant made out of iron in the woods that will be your best friend or that a despicable bald headed man and his minions are actually the best.

Other things that I didn’t enjoy were the often cheesy and clumsy editing, poor character development, and sloppy tying up of storylines as well as average animation. 

Bright spots to savour: if you are stuck in a pint-sized-pinch and have to go and see this film for actual money then I guess the things that could carry you through are – 

• Heather Graham’s (The Hangover and Austin Powers) voice as the female lead Vera. 
• Ken Jeong (The Hangover) as the money hungry villain named (subtly) Mr. Greene.
• Bill Nighy (Love Actually) as the seagull Socrates that saves a lot of scenes with his one-liners. 
• And last but not least Lemmings (which are the smallest animals in the arctic according to the film) Norm’s trusted sidekicks.  

What could you watch with your kids instead? The Good Dinosaur, The Little Prince or if they’re old enough take them to a galaxy far far away and watch The Force Awakens

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