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January 15th, 2016

Movie Review - Norm of the North

Norm of the North

Starring: Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Bill Nighy, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine, Michael McElhatton, Maya Kay, Gabriel Iglesias, and more.

Directed by: Trevor Wall Written by: Daniel Altiere, Steven Altiere, and Malcolm T. Goldman Music by: Stephen McKeon

Premise: Norm is not like other polar bears. He has a skill none but his grandfather has, he can speak human. And Norm will need to use his odd skill to save his home once Greene Homes decides the Antarctic would be the perfect place to build and sell condos. (Rated PG)


1) Voice Acting - Neutral: With names like Rob Schneider, Colm Meany, and Bill Nighy, you would think the voice acting on the film would be great. Sadly, this is not the case. :( Most of the lines are delivered without much force or emotion behind them, and there are no real interactions, relationships, or chemistry between the characters. Aside from an exception here or there, the dialogue and voice acting just seemed forced, like they were trying too hard, so it doesn't quite make it.

2) Artwork/Animation - Neutral: I don't believe I've seen work from Splash Entertainment before, and to be honest they didn't do much to excite me about seeing anything else from them in future. While the animation had some neat textures and lovely background colors, it was also very jerky. Norm loves to dance, but most of the time his moves are too muted or jerky and don't look like dancing. On the opposite side, Mr. Greene seems to be made out of rubber, his limbs bending and looping all over the place, more than Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic 4!

Overall, the backgrounds were decent. But the choppiness of the rest of the animation made it hard to enjoy them. For a feature film, I expected a higher quality and smoother transitions in movements than were evident.

The lemurs were fun. But they were about it...

3) Plot/Story - Neutral: I tend to give animated films a little broader leeway than normal films because the settings tend to be fantastical. Sadly, though, Norm of the North pushed quite a distance past my usually wide threshold for this type of film.

Norm can speak like a human, but he's been exposed only to a little of technology. Yet once in New York city, he seems to know how to read and what a flash drive is and how other technology works. Worse, Norm talks about his feelings and how they are more like a human than a bear's, yet his brother, a supposed typical polar bear, sets up dance routines, uses a headset, and acts way more human than Norm. :( The film is peppered with this kind of inconsistency throughout.

Aside from a couple of cute spots and one or two surprises, the rest of the film was rather bland. Worse, they show Norm bend bars of steel, then not long after he's incapable of tearing/chewing a piece of rope apart, or lifting off a piece of antenna in the water. And since a trip to Antarctica is not that fast, the only time to unmoor the boat from the barge would not have to be in the middle of a raging storm. It just made some of the "exciting" parts appear way too contrived. :(

Conclusion: Norm of the North will be entertaining for the young kids, but teenagers and adults won't get much out of it. The animation quality wasn't what it should have been, and neither was the acting. So overall, it just plodded along. :(

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Better On Cable)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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