Today: February 29, 2024

Norm Of The North

Norm (Rob Schneider) is smarter than the average bear. So, when he discovers that an unscrupulous property developer is trying to turn the Arctic wilderness into a luxury housing complex, he sets off to New York to throw a bear-shaped spanner in the works.

Posing as an actor in a bear suit, Norm quickly becomes the face of the campaign to “use the Arctic to sell the Arctic”. With the help of Vera Brightly (Heather Graham) and her super-smart daughter Olympia (Maya Kay) Norm hopes to scupper the campaign at the height of its popularity.

Unfortunately great female role-models and a promising set up isn’t enough to excuse the film’s lamentable lack of pace and structure. At some point in the design-by-committee process, it was clearly decided that Norm Of The North was far too serious. Who wants to teach kids about saving the planet, right? So, shoe-horned in at random points in the storyline, we get nonsensical dance sequences. There are also tasteless jokes and a gang of irritating lemmings, whose only part in the film seems to be to give the marketing guys something cute to sell to the kids at Christmas.

The film’s green credentials are, sadly, as shoddy and unpolished as its animation. The evil property developer is, unbelievably, a ponytailed pseudo-hippy called Greene. His partner-in-crime, Councilwoman Klubeck, is a corrupt, UN-style official. While the guys who ultimately save the day are business investors with hearts of gold. Make of that what you will.

Norm is Splash’s first feature-length animation and it’s not a total train-wreck. The voice actors do a fine job and there are genuinely some heartwarming moments. Colm Meaney, as Norm’s grandfather, and Loretta Devine as his love-interest, Tamecia, add much-needed warmth and charm.

Twerking bears, peeing lemmings, poop jokes, and an environmental message vague enough to fit any shade of politics, could make Norm Of The North the ideal family movie. Or you might want to stay the hell away.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

Previous Story


Next Story

The Best Of Bruce Willis

Latest from Blog


Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Lone Star – Criterion Collection

Rarely in cinema do you come across a filmmaker as versatile as Lone Star writer-director John Sayles. Here is a man who cut his Hollywood teeth working for Roger Corman, got early

Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory is a curious beast. It’s a war film whose battles are mostly fought in a court room. It’s a Kubrick epic, that feels like a small, claustrophobic indie movie.


Monolith is a film that delights and surprises in equal measure. This low-fi, slow burn thriller is part science fiction, part social commentary, with just the right amount of bumps and jumps

Billions Complete Series Unboxing

As Paul Giamatti remains a frontrunner in the race for this year’s Academy Award for Best Actor with his beautifully layered performance in The Holdovers, there’s no better time to catch up

Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy Unboxing

The heat is on. Eddie Murphy’s beloved street-smart Detroit cop Axel Foley is coming back to our screens in the highly-anticipated fourth entry in the Beverly Hills Cop series this summer, so
Go toTop