Displaced from their Arctic home, a polar bear named Norm and his three lemming friends wind up in New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of a corporation he soon learns is tied to the fate of his homeland.
“Norm of the North” is a witty animated film that drew some laugh-out-loud moments from the kids in the audience I screened it with. One of these comedic moments featured Norm, the polar bear, in the beginning of the movie dancing and shaking his rear. One of the tourists takes his photo and tells Norm he doesn’t belong in the Arctic but on Broadway. Norm says he put the “soul in winter solstice.” Norm is ambitious, not wanting to “wind up sitting in an ice cubicle” at work!
Norm is voiced by Rob Schneider and the voice talent includes Heather Graham, Bill Nighy and Colm Meaney as the grandfather bear. Various creatures are featured including lemmings and a dancing whale. The plot centers on Norm’s decision to travel to New York in order to save the Arctic. An unscrupulous developer named Mr. Greene (Ken Jeong), wants Norm in his movie but he also plans to build homes on the Arctic and become richer than he already is. Norm, who misses his long lost grandfather, learns what happened to him while in New York and also learns of Greene’s scheme. With Greene’s own assistant on his side, Vera (Heather Graham), and even her daughter, Olympia (Maya Kay), Norm manages to break free from Greene’s clutches and sail back to the Arctic, along with a very special passenger. In one nice scene, when it looks like all may be lost, this special passenger says to Norm, “See you on the other side, one way or the other,” displaying a belief in the afterlife.
The animation is terrific, the characters are delightful, and the pratfalls and humor are constant. And because of Norm’s heroic deeds, it has a happy ending for both the audience and him. We are happy to award “Norm of the North” our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for all ages. Your kids will enjoy Norm’s company–he’s funny and a role model for doing the right thing.