[[caption-width-right:296:[[OverlyNarrowSuperlative The classic boy-travels-world-to-find-less-neglectful-parents film]].]]

''North'' is a 1994 film directed by Creator/RobReiner in what he stated was [[MagnumOpusDissonance his attempt to make his own]] ''[[Film/TheWizardOfOz Wizard of Oz]]''. [[note]] Seemingly forgetting that he was also the same guy who made ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', a film which has a much better chance of being called his "own Wizard of Oz" than ''North'' ever will. [[/note]] The story is based on the novel ''North'' by Alan Zweibel, who also wrote the screenplay and has a minor role in the film.

An 11-year-old boy named North (Creator/ElijahWood) tires of his parents (Creator/JasonAlexander and [[Creator/JuliaLouisDreyfus Julia Louis Dreyfus]]), [[ParentalNeglect who never pay any attention to him]] even though he's a model student, athlete, and even actor. He [[EmancipatedChild legally emancipates himself from them]], and [[WalkingTheEarth wanders around the world seeking a new family]] with a deadline of Labor Day; if he doesn't find a new family by then, he will be placed in an orphanage. Along the way, he encounters parents that are [[CaptainEthnic Texan, Alaskan, Hawaiian, Amish, etc]], and tries to blend in with each group of parents (well, not the Amish). He finally decides that his own parents are the best with the help of a guardian angel (Creator/BruceWillis) who uses [[PaperThinDisguise several guises throughout the film]]. However a conniving kid friend of his, Winchell, used the publicity North's escapades garnered to rally kids everywhere to make their parents more subservient to them. Knowing that North reconciling with his parents would undermine this, he plots to have him killed.

Not related to the film ''Film/ElNorte''. This film was also Creator/ScarlettJohansson's film debut. [[SarcasmMode Such humble beginnings]].
!!Provides Examples Of:

* AdultsAreUseless: Save for the American family North comes across, Bruce Willis characters and arguably North's real parents. Nearly all the adults here are either stupid, corrupt, manipulative or all three.[[spoiler: Considering this is North dreaming and him being a kid, well...]]
* AllJustADream: [[spoiler:The only facet that makes it back to reality is Bruce Willis' character and the good luck charm. And even then that's just coincidence.]]
* AmbulanceChaser: Arthur Belt (played by Creator/JonLovitz), who is literally seen chasing an ambulance until he comes across North. Apparently, he just uses it to beat the traffic.
* ArtisticLicense: The various cultures depicted. [[spoiler: When an 11 year old dreams the whole thing inaccuracies are to be expected.]]
* {{Beachcombing}}: Seen in Hawaii.
* BigEater: The Tex family.
-->'''Pa Tex:''' Well I reckon we'll wake up early and eat, then we'll dig for oil and eat, then we'll rope some doggies, bust a few broncs and maybe get a bite to eat.
* BlackComedy: Certainly dips into it a lot at the very least.
* BrokenAesop: The film's message is ostensibly about the value of family and accepting one's parents. There was also "home is where the heart is." It does nothing to convince the audience that North had any real world logic in going back to them.
** [[spoiler: How does what happens in a child's dream count as a compelling message? Those stereotypes presumably aren't prevalent in universe, so it fails show that there are far worse parents out there, which should be a relatively easy task.]]
** This is especially true if you take some AlternateCharacterInterpretation on [[spoiler: how the ethnicities are portrayed in North's dream and]] how North is the only character to mention how other parents feel about him [[spoiler: that's not just a product of North's mind. One could easily break the movie's message just by portraying that, if North really does think all of those stereotypes are how people of other ethnicities are and he honestly does think that everyone but his parents look up to him, North is just an egotistical bigot who probably has self-entitlement issues regarding his parents' time with him]].
* CrapsackWorld: Everyone in the movie aside from North, his mentor figure, and the whitebread family he's with are boorish, insensitive, loud, selfish, ethnocentric, and incapable of showing sincerity. And arguably, none of them are really that much better.
* CriticalResearchFailure:
** Just about every depiction of every ethnicity. [[spoiler: Justified because [[InvokedTrope it's all in North's imagination]] and that's all he knows.]]
** North's Texan parents sing a song parodying the ''{{Series/Bonanza}}'' theme, despite that series taking place in Nevada.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: When the Alaskan parents describe themselves to North:
--> '''Alaskan Dad''': We have pride, North, and we're proud of our pride!
* DescriptionCut: When it became official that North will divorce his parents, a pair of parents discuss it with their son:
-->'''Dad:''' Come on, Andy, his folks are gonna fight it!\\
'''Mom:''' Of course they are. They're not going to take this lying down.\\
(Cut to next shot where North's parents reading the article and faint. [[DontExplainTheJoke Get it?]])
* {{Eagleland}}: Played straight and inverted. Foreigners and Americans who don't exactly fit Type 1 are shoehorned into Type 2.
* EnfantTerrible: Winchell.
* FalseFriend: Winchell, at first, appears to be North's buddy from school but he later turns into some evil kid overlord who wants North dead.
* FantasyKeepsake: North finds the quarter in his pocket, complete with bullet hole, that he got in his Texas Family Fantasy [[OrWasItADream after waking up.]]
* FanDisservice: When North visits the Ho family in Hawaii, their bid to increase tourism to the island involves plastering every highway with a billboard of his likeness and an octopus pulling down his underwear, reminiscent of the early "Coppertone Girl" ads from the '50s and '60s. North freaks out when he finds out about this.
%% "Fridge" stuff goes on the Fridge page. Just click the lightbulb at the top of the page.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Could be with the Pants Factory scene. Obviously what was going on would not be happening in a real pants factory. [[spoiler: Because it didn't, it was all a dream]]. The Texan parents' song also could fit.
* FrenchJerk: [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with North's French parents, who are portrayed as loud and obnoxious, but not actually mean.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: InUniverse -- there's nothing on TV in France but Creator/JerryLewis movies.
* HollywoodAtlas: Most of the segments are horrific pastiches of cultural stereotypes[[note]]which makes sense if you consider [[spoiler:it's AllJustADream an 11 year old boy is having]][[/note]], including:
** EskimoLand: The "old people who are no longer of use voluntarily drift out to sea" has been turned into an industrial line.
** EverythingIsBigInTexas: To the point that the prospective parents here intend to fatten North up because they pride themselves on having the biggest of everything. And apparently dress like Elvis in his latter days playing Joe Buck in a production of ''Film/MidnightCowboy'' on Ice.
** GayParee: Creator/JerryLewis on all the channels, all the time.
** HulaAndLuaus: Needs tourists, and is willing to sink to any advertisement depths to get them.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** When describing the Miami heat (the weather, not the team), Bruce Willis says, "Your balls stick to your leg like Krazy Glue!"
** North's Eskimo family, where Kathy Bates and Abe Vigoda have colored their faces for the part, all while casting their Eskimo family in a supposedly "comedic" light.
** [[SarcasmMode The lovely sight]] of Creator/ElijahWood's pale butt. [[InsistentTerminology Oh sorry]], his "crack".
** Ho is the surname of Hawaii's governor and his wife. Plus, there's only one barren spot in the entire state: Mrs. Ho.
** The prepubescent Winchell and Arthur Belt both receiving massages, during which Arthur orders a drink named "Sex on the Beach".
** North arriving to the village of a primal African tribe, where he sees his new mother topless.
* HoodHornament: North's first stop when looking for a new set of parents is Texas, where his prospective parents pick him up in the airport driving an airport cart with horns, followed by a AbsurdlyLongLimousine with horns on the front.
* InformedAbility: It is stated that North is a prodigy as well as pretty much the perfect child to where other parents use him as a reference (i.e., North keeps his room clean). However, all of these are stated by [[UnreliableNarrator North himself]]. Also since he seems to fully believe in all of these racial stereotypes, he is obviously not as smart as stated.
* InnocentBigot: North seems to be one of these [[spoiler:since his dream is full of broad cultural stereotypes that he appears to take quite seriously]]. It's not clear if he was meant to come across that way, however.
* InsistentTerminology: North's "crack".
* KarmaHoudini: Winchell would've been one [[spoiler:[[AllJustADream if the whole thing had actually happened]].]]
* LargeHam: TheJudge.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: "A bird in the hand is always greener than the grass in the other guy's bushes."
* MoodWhiplash: The assassination plot in the final third is awfully dark for a light fantasy.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: Winchell, who's proclamations of children freeing themselves from their parents' control as North has done are eerily Third Reich-esque.
* NewJobAsThePlotDemands: North constantly keeps running into a suspiciously similar character played by Bruce Willis who has a different occupation every time he runs into him.
* {{Pride}}: North's Alaskan parents have pride, [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment and they're proud of their pride]]. They're willing to shove their own parent off on a floating ice patch simply because they're proud of their tradition.
* ProductPlacement: A particularly egregious plug for Federal Express.
* PropheticNames: The evil journalist kid is named [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Winchell Winchell]].
* {{Pun}}: "Your Honor, the defense rests."[[note]]referring to North's comatose parents in court[[/note]]
* RefugeInAudacity: ''Big Time!''
* RewatchBonus: The point where [[spoiler: it switches to the dream]] is obvious on a second viewing, but the first time through it just seems like an unusually abrupt scene change.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: The basic summarization of North's reaction to learning the Amish family was one of his stops.
* SmallNameBigEgo
** North, who seems to believe all the parents around him use him as an example of being the perfect son. And [[spoiler:through his dream,]] he seems to believe that he would be emperor of China, people would want to visit Hawaii just because he lives there, and his friend would become rich and powerful just because of the story about him.
** There's also the fact that [[spoiler: in the dream]] North's horribly neglectful parents are so shocked by his leaving them that they essentially [[AndIMustScream become statues]] and are put on display for everyone to see [[FridgeLogic for no real reason]], and the leaders of Hawaii would want to promote Hawaiian tourism by [[PaedoHunt showing off his]] [[InsistentTerminology "crack,"]] [[PaedoHunt despite the large amount of problems that it would result in]].
* ThatRemindsMeOfASong: The Texan parents sing a parody of the ''{{Series/Bonanza}}'' theme song to North.
* UnreliableNarrator: All of the background on how smart and popular North is comes from North himself, and includes things he was not present for and could not possibly know. Creator/BruceWillis has a voice-over narration, but his character only gets info from talking to North as well.
* WhenYouComingHomeDad: Subverted in the last act, when North realizes his parents were all right after all, even though they don't heap ridiculous praise on him like other parents.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Winchell fits this trope to a T, [[TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior and not in a good way at all]].
* WorldOfPun: A literal example.
* WorldTour: North travels the world looking for new parents, and the ones he finds are giant stereotypes.
[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmIwlK-SQUU Quick, loosen his pants.]]