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Western Animation / Norm of the North

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"Bear to be different."

Norm of the North is a 2016 CGI-animated film distributed by Lionsgate, produced by Splash Entertainment, and animated by India's Assemblage Entertainment and features the voices of Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine, Gabriel Iglesias, Michael McElhatton and Bill Nighy.

When Norm, a polar bear with the gift of talking to humans, discovers that tourists are invading his home and interfering with the lives of dozens of other animals, he and three lemmings travel to New York City in order to convince the humans that they shouldn't intrude on their home. While there, they find out that a company run by Mr. Greene is looking for a new mascot. Using his special gift, Norm decides to become the company's mascot in an attempt to convince the humans that they should save the Arctic instead of tearing it down.

Three sequels — Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom, Norm of the North: King Sized Adventure, and Norm of the North: Family Vacation — have been released; the first one got a limited release in theaters, while the latter two went Direct to Video. A fifth movie was also announced, but nothing's been heard of it since.

Norm of the North provides examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Norm is shown to be this. An interesting example in that some of the animals who berate Norm actually are reindeer.
  • Anti-Climax: At the end, Norm and his grandfather have to destroy the four houses being sent to their home. It takes them less than two minutes to dislodge the cargo from the boat pulling it.
  • Artistic License – Law: Despite Norm exposing Greene's bribery of the Polar Council to Greene's investors, Greene claims that once the houses are in the Arctic the investors are obligated to fund them, despite the contract being made null and void due to his own false pretenses.
  • Asset Actor: The model used for a younger version of Norm during a flashback sequence in the first movie was re-used as Norm's son Quinn in the sequel, Keys to the Kingdom.
  • Babies Ever After: How the film ends for Norm and Elizabeth, having had three cubs together: Quinn, Maria and Chase.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Greene is the main villain who desires to drive out the Arctic wildlife to build more housing for clients, with very selfish and greedy intentions. He also is responsible for capturing the polar bear Norm's grandfather.
  • Blessed with Suck: Norm's gift and his taste for human accessories led to him being an outcast in the Arctic.
  • Double Entendre: Vera asks Norm at one point to come out. Norm, dressed up in flashy clothing, says "I think I just did!"
  • Dreamworks Face: Norm has this on one of the theatrical posters (which serves as the page image).
  • Ecocidal Antagonist: Mr. Greene, an unethical real estate developer whose plots are to drive out the Arctic wildlife in order to build more housing for clients, and is not above bribery. He also has captured Norm the polar bear's grandfather, who Norm eventually saves in the film. Additionally, Greene sabotages Norm's initial attempts to convince Greene's company to not build houses in the Arctic through a Recorded Spliced Conversation that manipulates his recorded words to make it sound like he endorses Greene's plots.
  • Establishing Character Moment: We first see Mr. Greene in a calm trance and keeping a civil tone. But when Vera tells him the director shooting his commercial quit, he starts panicking, shouting, and berating Vera.
  • Expy:
    • The lemmings are obvious attempts to cash in on the Minions; the one Norm steps on also bears an uncanny resemblance to Rhino.
    • Mr. Greene is basically a third-rate copy of Chester V in terms of role, design and movement.
    • Norm himself, in both appearance and personality, is basically Otis as a polar bear.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Mr. Greene somehow didn't think anything was wrong with the polar bear in the penthouse… despite the fact the "polar bear" was an actor whose mask was off and he was staring right at the cameras showing this. It's only near the climax does he realize Norm isn't there.
  • Fat and Skinny: The two animal catchers working for Mr. Greene.
  • Filler: The dance montages. Only one of them advances the plot; the rest only exist to show off Norm's dancing skills in a movie that already has a lot going on.
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball: One of the dance montages uses this.
  • Furry Confusion: The seals, unlike all the other animals in Norm's home, aren't capable of speaking and only exist as food for the polar bears and killer whales. They even bark and sound like seals, whereas everyone else (even the lemmings, who also don't speak) has more anthropomorphic qualities.
  • Gasshole: One of the three lemmings who joins Norm is frequently seen passing gas.
  • Gratuitous German: Dexter, antagonist in King Size Adventure, orders his two komodo dragons: "Fassen!" note 
  • Green Aesop: The film focuses heavily on stopping Greene from destroying the Arctic, which would inevitably lead to the animals being driven out.
  • Growling Gut: Happens to Norm in "Norm of the North: Family Vacation".
  • Hartman Hips: A lot of female characters have these, such as our heroine Vera Brightly. Special mention goes to Janet, Mr. Greene's secretary, who has a hips so large, she uses to knock a sewer lid on to Mr. Greene for the crimes he committed.
  • I Am Big Boned: What Norm classifies himself in the trailer after he breaks a chair after sitting in it.
  • I'll Take That as a Compliment: Said word for word by Norm when a man auditioning to be a mascot says that Norm (whom he thinks is another man in a costume) smells like a real polar bear.
  • Ironic Name: The crooked real estate developer is named Mr. Greene.
  • Made of Iron: The lemmings. They get crushed by an elevator door (amongst other things) and they just pop back up again.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: As Cinematic Excrement points out in his review of the film, caribou and lemmings are found in the tundra, not on icebergs.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: As Norm tries to scare off Vera when she's shooting a commercial for Green Homes, she decides to film him chasing after her. It actually helps Vera and Mr. Greene in the long run.
  • The Nose Knows: How Mr. Greene knows that Norm is a real live polar bear. The last time he smelled someone like Norm was when he captured his grandfather.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-Universe, Mr. Greene is pleased to see his ratings go up after he fails to attack Norm in a sushi restaurant with a tranquilizer gun.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Olympia never seems to grow up, even when it's acknowledged in-universe that years have gone by.
  • Orbital Shot: Very much overused. The camera will frequently orbit around the characters, , often with little rhyme nor reason. Case in point.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Averted. It doesn't take long for Olympia and Mr. Greene to figure out that Norm's an actual polar bear and not a guy in a mascot costume, considering that he both weighs as much as one and smells like one.
  • Playing Possum: In order to fool a maid, Norm decides to pretend that he's a dead polar bear rug inside Greene's office.
  • Recorded Spliced Conversation: Norm wants to prevent a building company from building houses in the Arctic, his homeland. He spends a good portion of the movie supporting the advertising campaign of that company, his plan being to convince everyone at the right moment that building houses there is not a good thing to do. However, his attempt is intercepted by Mr. Greene, who uses parts of previously recorded lines from the announcer to make it look like Norm endorses the Arctic houses, which is the last piece Mr. Greene needs to legally start building them.
  • Running Gag:
    • The lemmings popping back to their normal form after being flattened, stomped, crushed, etc.
    • One of the lemmings farting for no reason.
    • Norm and his dance montages.
    • Norm's cell phone rings (in the sequels).
  • Sapient Cetaceans: The killer whale in the beginning of the movie seems smarter than normal, who is able to venture and remain out of the water for long periods of time, although he does retain some non-sapient predatory urges, as seen when he eats a seal (although it was part of a show).
  • Shaking the Rump: Norm twerks at least twice in the film. He also drops a Lampshade Hanging the first time he does so while talking to Socrates the seagull.
  • Show, Don't Tell: An inverted example. Almost every scene of Norm in New York has him explaining his plan in full to several different people.
  • Talking Animal: Norm and all of the animals in his Arctic home, except for the lemmings and seals.
  • Toilet Humor: You have no idea
    • When Norm and the lemmings enter Mr. Greene's skyscraper, the lemmings pee into a fish tank and a potted plant.
    Greene: Are they house-trained?
    Norm: Oh, definitely! They've peed in tons of houses!
    • Later, when Norm and the lemmings realize they're being watched inside their new "house," Norm tells the lemmings to act natural. They all start farting.
    Norm: (waves paw in disgust) Not that natural!
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: During the second act, Norm finds out that Mr. Greene is keeping his grandfather prisoner. Norm spends the remainder of the movie trying to free him while also being the Greene Homes mascot.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Subverted. When Norm shows up in New York, a lot of people actually do think he's a real live polar bear, and he has to constantly lie and tell them that he's just a mascot. Even then, some characters see through his lie instantly.
  • Wham Line: From one of the animal catchers, which starts the movie's subplot.
    Animal Catcher: "Another talking polar bear?!"
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Olympia wishes that her mother Vera was not as good at her work so they could spend more time together.


Video Example(s):


Norm of the North sequel

Mr. Enter finds himself laughing hysterically at a completely and utterly STUPID plot point.

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