Overview: Gifted with the ability to talk with humans, Norm confronts a New York mogul to stop a housing development from breaking ice in Norm’s Arctic home. Lionsgate; 2016; PG; 86 minutes.

Twerking Polar Bear: Norm desperately attempts to plug in the jokes for the older folks by incorporating random references to pop culture. For a dancing, animated polar bear, Norm is skilled at a school talent show (minus the twerking) but not at a competitive level for America’s Best Dance Crew. Norm’s dance sequences were not considered to any useful degree; it’s an odd contentionto make because how does one characterize more appropriate dance moves for a polar bear? Given Norm’s enormity, signature moves stand out where others are just dull. And by simply placing Norm in front of a background different in color from Norm’s fur, the eye focuses on the prominent foreground.

Silence Is Not Golden: As an adult who is not accompanying a pre-adolescent, it was hard not to measure the attending kids’ reactions as a clear indicator and supplementary proof of disapproval. Watching a movie in the company of children becomes most uncomfortable when the theater is absent of laughter or clapping or loud conversations with the accompanied parent. A moment clearly intended for a round of laughs as Norm’s lemming trio relieved themselves in an aquarium, turned sour with pure disgust. Certainly, all the kids imagined poor Nemo in that fish tank swimming in unfiltered, lemming urine. When will the long pee streams stop? Olympia, the young girl who befriends Norm and the character young viewers project themselves on, struggles on the relate-ability scale. Her genius mind immediately alienates her into a class above an average child. Rarely does it promote to go beyond average. Olympia’s role essentially becomes downplayed by the mere fact her IQ supersedes her fighting sprit. The most adult aspect of Norm stems from the fact the main villain relies on the concept of corporate greed… talk about going over the heads of children. The presented problem poses as too literal. Animated movies centered on bridging environmental awareness to children rely on imagination, a negative sentient brings devastation by eliminating an ice kingdom speaks volumes more to a child than money talking.  

Solid as a Melting Glacier: In 3D animated movies, close-up shots typically reveal more detail, hence the term “close-up.” The close-up shots in Norm operate differently: If Norm was made into a Nintendo 3DS Game, the close-up shots are equivalent to turning off the 3D feature, flipping the image back into 2D. The voice talents bringing the characters to life include Rob Schneider as Norm the polar bear and Ken Jeong as Mr. Greene, the developer who only sees dollar signs and green. The variety of character shapes stands as one of the more prominent characteristics in Norm, both in body and facial structures. Props to the character designers for being inclusive of all body shapes. Although, the rabid and deranged-looking lemmings can hardly be described as “cute.”

Final Thoughts: Save the Arctic by reducing carbon emissions. Save time by not watching Norm of the North.

Grade: D-