Review: Norm of the North

Bear Month at the Movies continues, with wasted potential.

Bear Month at the Movies continues via Norm of the North, a flat kids’ film with an intriguing premise: When a developer wants to build luxury condos in the Arctic, polar bear Norm goes to New York City to try and stop it from happening. Because polar bears can “talk human” (did you know?) everyone in New York is (too) easily convinced that he’s just a Method actor in a bear suit. Here comes the Revenant-level horror: Norm is voiced by Rob Schneider, underserved by a script that seems to be left over from the same era as “Makin’ copies.” At one point Norm is all dressed up in a glittery suit on the rink at Rockefeller Centre, nervous in front of the crowd. He’s urged to “Come out.” Norm: “I think I just did.” Between that, the “mentally challenged” voice bit by Ken Jeong—not funny even when you don’t have to look at him—and the animated story beats that feel joyless and obligatory (Farting lemmings! Dancing orca! Montage set to current-ish pop song!), Norm of the North is nothing but wasted potential. The bar is too high for something this half-assed to exist.

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