Christmas may be over, but there will still be one wintery family film showing this month—Norm of the North, a tale of a polar bear traveling to New York City to save his home, the Arctic, from an evil condo developer.
Last week in our cinema sneak peek we predicted Norm and his friends would have trouble competing with the likes of Kung Fu Panda 3, and after seeing the movie in full, I’m afraid to say our prediction may have been accurate.
This past Saturday, the Slaughter Alamo Drafthouse opened early for a pre-screening of the Lionsgate’s movie. Drafthouse went all out in the best of ways, as they often do. Kids could not only make their own glittery snow globes, but they could also jump around in a giant, bouncy blow-up snow globe!
The event was completed by photos with Norma the polar bear— “Norm’s cousin.” Norma also chose two kids from the audience to compete in a game before the film—they hopped on fake ice chunks to avoid falling in the water and won prizes to take home.
I wish I could say that the movie itself was as fun-filled and adorable as Drafthouse’s pre-show activities. Unfortunately, the film didn’t have the hilarity, amazing graphics, catchy music, or heartfelt emotion that most great kids’ flicks have been built around.
Since Norm of the North stars the voices of Rob Schneider and Ken Jeong, I was expecting the clever wit of animated big-screen hits that also revolve around comedians becoming talking furry creatures, like Monsters Inc. or Shrek. Then I realized that Pixar, Disney, and Dreamworks are simply the ruling gods of animation—no one can do it quite like they can!
The concept is great—a polar bear who’s growing up and finding his way in life decides to go an epic adventure with his three lemming friends. They’re determined to maintain the Arctic’s serene beauty, and therefore, also determined to figure out how to bring down the maniacal, money-hungry developer. If they fail, the Arctic will soon be filled with snazzy, modern condos and tourists.
Drafthouse was packed with kids of all ages, so you’d expect the laughter to get pretty loud during the movie, right? Well, it was oddly quiet for the entire film’s length. Maybe they were too busy eating French fries and cheese sticks, but unfortunately, I think it was just a tell-tale sign that the movie…wasn’t very good. I didn’t laugh once, and I usually love cartoons of all kinds!
Although I wouldn’t recommend the movie for you or your children over the age of eight, Norm of the North is definitely great for your youngest kids—in their really early years, you can’t go wrong with fart jokes and dancing animals.
1 out of 5 stars