Norm of the North

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"I'm Norm of the North, king of nothing." — Norm, Norm of the North

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Norm of the North
Norm of the north.jpg
"I'm Norm of the North. King of nothing." — Norm
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Trevor Wall
Written By: Daniel R. Altiere
Steven M. Altiere
Malcolm T. Goldman
Starring: Rob Schneider
Heather Graham
Ken Jeong
Colm Meaney
Loretta Devine
Gabriel Iglesias
Michael McElhatton
Bill Nighy
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Lionsgate
Release Date: January 15, 2016 (United States)
March 18, 2016 (Ireland)
Runtime: 88 minutes
Country: United States
India
Ireland
Sequel: Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom


"You want some perspective to how bad this movie is? Rob Schneider is the star of this film. Rob Schneider is the star of this film! Rob Schneider is the star of this fucking film!"
BlackCriticGuy


Norm of the North is a 2016 American-Indian-Irish computer-animated comedy-adventure film directed by Trevor Wall and written by Daniel R. Altiere, Steven M. Altiere, and Malcolm T. Goldman. It was produced by Assemblage Entertainment, Splash Entertainment and Telegael and distributed by Lionsgate, and opened in cinemas on January 15, 2016 in the United States.

Despite the scathing critical reception of the film, three direct-to-video sequels have been released: Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom, released January 11, 2019; Norm of the North: King Sized Adventure, released June 11, 2019; and Norm of the North: Family Vacation, released February 25, 2020; all three sequels received similar negative reception.

Plot

Norm the polar bear doesn't know how to hunt, but he does possess the unique ability to talk to humans. When the wealthy Mr. Greene unveils his idea to build luxury condos in the Arctic, Norm realizes that his beloved home is in jeopardy. Accompanied by three mischievous lemmings, Norm stows away on a ship to New York. Once there, he meets a surprising ally who helps him hatch a scheme to sabotage the shady developer's plans.

Why It Isn't King of the North

  1. The film suffers from several clichés and unoriginal ideas, for example:
    • The main character is an outcast at the start and later becomes accepted by his society at the end, an outcast for being different from everyone else, and does something idiotic that would easily impress his love interest.
    • Mr. Greene is a rehash of Chester V from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, as both antagonists are the heads of their respective corporations and move their limbs in a rather over-the-top way.
    • The Lemmings are also nothing more than carbon copies of the Minions from Despicable Me, as both are groups of small creatures serving as comic reliefs who accompany our main character much of the time. They are obnoxious, annoying, and have ear-piercing voices; they also constantly provide toilet humor, including one scene where they urinate in a fish tank.
    • The government official is corrupt.
    • The child of a character is upset that they would be unable to spend time together due to the latter being busy with work.
    • The way Norm saves his grandfather from drowning rips off a scene from District 9.
  2. The animation is rather cheap and of low quality, and looks as if it were from a direct-to-video film to be released in retailers (which it was originally going to be) rather than a feature-length animated film released in theaters. In fact, it looks more like a mid-2000s film than a 2016 film.
    • The camera is also constantly spinning throughout the film, orbiting around specific characters and locations and making audiences feel rather dizzy.
    • Characters move in rather strange and uncanny ways, which fails to work in the style they seem to be going for.
    • The animation has lots of motion blur with the characters’ movements even contributing towards audiences feeling nauseous and dizzy just like with the camera spinning when they watch the film.
    • There is a scene where Norm sit on a bench and he is wet, but while he is speaking with Vera, you can see a part of his fur on his neck appear and disappear when he move the head.
  3. The characters' motivations make no sense whatsoever:
    • Mr. Greene's plan is inherently flawed, it consists of him building condos in the Arctic so people would buy them and live there; first and foremost, the ice caps are not only unstable (as proven in one scene where the icy ground is splitting apart and Vera is about to fall in) but also melting as a result of climate change, so why would anyone think living there is a good idea? Next, if the condos get destroyed due to either the unstable icy ground or melting ice caps, then the condo owners would sue Mr. Greene and win the case. Lastly, the Arctic is one of the most inhospitable and least comfortable places on the entire planet.
      • It is also even more flawed when taking into consideration that anyone living in the Arctic would have no way to obtain the resources necessary to survive, at least quickly.
      • It should also be taken into consideration that no one would want to live in the middle of nowhere, where there are no movie theaters, no supermarkets, and so on.
      • The film is even self-aware of how flawed Mr. Greene's plan is, reinforced by when the Councilwoman states, "Condos in the Arctic is a ludicrous idea!"; however, stating the problems of a film does not automatically make them go away.
    • He also wants an actor for a polar bear in his commercial, even though an actor is of no use to him whatsoever as he can literally just use Norm's grandfather for his commercial; one could argue that there is no way Norm's grandfather would be willing to be part of the commercial, even though Norm himself simply walks right into Mr. Greene's office, so clearly he also came in there with no plan.
    • Norm intends to become an actor for Mr. Greene in his commercial, which is rather pointless since if he didn't go to New York City, Mr. Greene would not be able to make his commercial and thus make his condos in the Arctic; therefore, Norm would save the Arctic by doing nothing at all.
    • Norm plans to pretend to be a human wearing a polar bear costume...because somehow real polar bears resemble fake ones.
    • The bad guys who were chasing Norm earlier randomly decide to go after a man in a polar bear costume for no adequately explained reason.
    • There are several instances where characters carelessly approach polar bears, which are supposed to be extremely dangerous animals.
    • Vera decides to hire the Lemmings upon Norm's request... even though these are the same lemmings who had just urinated in a fish tank.
    • At no point does anyone in the restaurant think it to be a good idea to call the authorities to arrest Mr. Greene, a man who had just barged in there intending to shoot someone with a tranquilizer gun; it also doesn't help that he becomes popular after this incident, which involved an individual of the same species threatened with extinction, to the point where his approval rating rises up.
    • Norm concludes that his grandfather is in the moving truck, even though there is no evidence or indication that his grandfather is in it, and even then, there is no logical reason for him to assume the people driving the moving truck are bringing his grandfather with them.
    • It turns out Norm was correct in that the people driving the moving truck are actually bringing his grandfather with them, even though they literally have no reason to do so whatsoever.
  4. Confusing and questionable logic, such as Vera not recognizing Norm as the bear who chased her in the Arctic for some reason, despite him looking exactly alike, or Vera inexplicably being aware of his name despite the latter having never told her his name at any point, or a herd of moose playing poker with actual cards, or Norm somehow knowing what Florida is despite living his entire life in the Arctic.
    • Norm gets a lemming stuck in his mouth before he spits it out while chasing the seal; why not eat the lemming when it was in your mouth instead of chasing after the seal?
      • On that topic, the very fact that Norm himself is a terrible predator unlike other polar bears and he still manage to survive all those years makes zero sense whatsoever, as in real life a polar bear would've starved to death if it were a terrible predator like Norm.
  5. Internal contradictions, such as Norm stating to Mr. Greene about how he hadn't bathed, even though he was literally shown getting out of the shower a couple of scenes earlier, as well as Norm crying out "No!" for some reason upon arriving in New York City, as if he were complaining about the fact that he was in New York City, even though it was exactly his goal to head there.
  6. The relationship between Norm of the North and its audience is... not so great.
    • The film feels the so-called "need" to constantly remind the audience of Norm's goal once every ten or so minutes as if they were too stupid to know what his goal actually is.
    • It also wants the audience to believe that Norm is the rightful king of the Arctic, but it suffers from an emotional standpoint due to it being explained via words of exposition rather than showing it through his actions, and it also doesn't help that none of what Norm does makes him seem worthy of being a king; one technique commonly used in storytelling is "Show, don't tell!", in which however a character is described is shown through their actions so the audience would become emotionally invested within said character.
  7. Norm of the North clearly knows nothing about several things relating to biology:
    • First and foremost, hunting is treated as if it were some sort of sport in this movie when it is something animals are required to do to survive.
    • That being said, Norm is also stated to not be good at hunting; if that were the case, then he should have starved to death long ago.
    • At one point, Norm is running away from bad guys in New York, even though he should be having a heat stroke as polar bears are not used to these kinds of environments during the summer, where they can get up to 100°F.
    • At one point, Norm states how the Lemmings lack any bones, even though lemmings in real life obviously do have bones.
  8. Atrocious and nonsensical dialogue, notably one line from Socrates saying "We can use the Arctic to save the Arctic!"
  9. Lackluster voice acting, particularly in one scene where Mr. Greene is shouting at Vera, which sounds as if actor Ken Jeong was recording his lines from a rather far distance from the microphone; in another scene near the beginning, the audio of Norm speaking sounds a bit distorted, probably due to an issue with the recording equipment and no one noticing.
  10. False advertising for two reasons:
    • Several of the posters show Norm wearing Statue of Liberty sunglasses and Norm wearing a New York t-shirt whereas, in the movie, he wears neither of those.
    • The UK DVD cover claims that Fans of Madagascar will love Norm, when they won't.
  11. It constantly panders to 2010s audiences, even going as far as to repeatedly show Norm twerking and shoehorning in pop songs such as "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk The Moon, the latter of which makes no sense within the context of the montage it is in (where Norm is shown dancing alone without anyone else, specifically), as the aforementioned song is about a man meeting a woman at a dance club before dancing with her; promotional material leading up to the release of the film features "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift.
  12. Repulsive designs for the characters; for example, Norm resembles more a dog than an polar bear.
  13. It constantly uses the "Disney Death" trope, in which a character is seemingly killed and then is later revealed to be alive all along; neither Norm nor his grandfather is immune from this, especially in the climax.
  14. Norm twerking not only seems to be pandering but is also rather inappropriate for a film aimed at children, as twerking is "sexually suggestive dancing characterized by rapid, repeated hip thrusts and shaking of the buttocks especially while squatting."[1]
  15. The infamous line: Ah, number one or number two? This line was said by Socrates (with the wasted talents of Bill Nighy) after Norm grunts at him.
  16. It would go on to spawn four sequels, similarly to Alpha and Omega, and none of them were good. In the second movie, the animation is worse than the first one. Its writing is also even more worse. In the third movie, they don't use much pop culture references, which is bit of a improvement. In the fourth movie, the Lemmings are less used and it has less fart jokes and toilet humor, which is also a bit of improvement. They also like the fourth movie do not use many pop culture references.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Norm's grandfather and Olympia are somewhat tolerable characters.
    • Norm does care for his grandfather, his girlfriend, and his friends.
  2. The idea of a polar bear who doesn't know how to hunt is an interesting concept, but the execution is atrocious.
  3. Sometimes the animation can easily look decent, like the scenes in the Arctic.
  4. There are one or two funny moments.
  5. This movie can be a "so bad its good" movie.
  6. ”I’m Norm of The North, King of Nothing.”
  7. There are a couple of heartwarming moments in this film.

Videos

Reception

Critical and audience response

Norm of the North was heavily panned by critics and casual moviegoers for its animation, plot, characters, writing, soundtrack, voice acting, and humor. It holds a 7% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 70 reviews, with an average rating of 3/10, with the site's critical consensus reading, "A pioneering feat in the field of twerking polar bear animation but blearily retrograde in every other respect, Norm of the North should only be screened in case of parental emergency."

On Metacritic, Norm of the North has 21 out of 100 scores based on 18 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average "B-" on an A+ to F scale.

Box office

Norm of the North grossed $6,844,137 domestically on its opening weekend and made a total domestic gross of $17 million. In foreign countries, it made $13,672,003 and the total worldwide gross was $30,734,502 million against a budget of $18 million.

External links

References

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