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Review: 'Norm of the North' isn't exactly 'Frozen'

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (7 votes)

normofthenorth.jpgSo it seems the first animated movie of 2016 is upon us. And the entire world collectively went 'Oh'.

From the looks of it, everyone in the world hates this film. Critics, moviegoers, children, everyone. I'm pretty sure I hate it as well, but I can't be sure since I actually fell asleep in the theater for this thing. No joke. It's the second time I've fallen asleep in a theater ever, the first being ... Avengers 2.

Where did it go wrong? Perhaps it was Rob Schneider. Maybe it was the sweat shop CGI brought to you by Lionsgate. Or could it be the fact that a poorly written and animated film in 2016 with fart and other unfunny jokes was just doomed for failure? Who knows?

Well actually, we all know that it was all of those things. This film has collected the rare achievement of getting a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, the first film of 2016 to do so. And only the second computer generated film of all time to do so (the first being Space Chimps 2) which is a feat worthy of applause.

What're the takeaways exactly? For the movie, none. Zero. Nada. Except maybe a good Film 101 class of what not to do. Honestly, as I'm trying to develop my own film right now, and I find it hard to actually feel good having to write a script with 'and then he farts and it's funny' in it so this film deserves a scientific study.

My concern is that this film will do one of two things. First, it'll leave a bad taste in people's mouths and they'll be cautious now, possibly avoiding future animal movie releases. I'm especially worried about Kung Fu Panda 3. Which brings me to the second possible outcome. Smart people didn't see this movie. The trailer has more dislikes than likes which I've never seen before, and there was zero hype. Kung Fu Panda 3, though, has ALL THE HYPE. I know lots of people who were smart enough to hold off on munching that deliciously disgusting movie popcorn for another week or two to see a film actually worth giving money too, and hopefully more people did the same. And with an opening weekend of $6.7 million, it's easy to see that maybe, there are smart people out there who don't get suckered into seeing this trash.

This wasn't so much a movie review as a movie ... examination. But take from it what you will.


Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I don't plan on seeing the movie. I also heard once that it wasn't even a low production so I can't really give positives with the word of "as a low production" either...

Though not everyone in the world hated it.. (To avoid misleading things) and I do find it odd to say 'Smart people didn't see this movie' even if I don't like the looks of the film and avoided it. Certain people liked it but kinda rare?

Anyway, yeah it's weird that it has so many dislikes for a trailer. I was honestly worried it was because they hated the style parts instead of the poor animation it had.
Even the A&O later sequels looked better at parts.

Oh well. The only bear person that still beats every other bear is Banjo from Banjo Kazooie.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Doesn't every movie have to be at least a "low production"? And objectively, how can anyone review it if they don't see it? "I didn't see it based on all the negative reviews it got" is a reasonable reaction, but it's not a review.

I haven't seen "Norm of the North" yet, but the plot seems to have a fatal premise in the trailer. The polar bears and other North Pole inhabitants are worried about the humans building condos and moving there? Wo wants (if you're a human) to live at the North Pole?

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I don't think I said I reviewed it? It was more like a comment on what I saw so far.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Holy crap, guys, Diamond Man took one look at this movie and said, "Yeah, screw this, I'm outta here."

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

You don't have to be an ass. Yet, the stuff I like is nothing like this..

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

You know what, Diamond Man, fair point. Fair point.

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (2 votes)

See, crossie? Sometimes I *do* upvote up...

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I remember hearing a story about someone on Flayrah leaving, and I think it was because of behavior like this. ;)

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

I saw one Youtube review, and this guy (who also fell asleep like I did, lol) said that people had brought a group of handicapped kids, with learning disabilities and stuff. That says a lot to me, just the fact it's animation is enough to get these people to spend money, not that it has any sense of quality. And that's what I mean by 'smart people'. People who will see the film for it's merits AND for animation, not just cause it's a stupid kids film to shut the children up for a while. And with the financial failure of this film thus far, it's clear the public is getting smarter in general.

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Proud Staffer of VancouFur 2017~

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

“Animation Xpress”, January 21, 2016, has as its lead article, “The young Indian studio Assemblage animates ‘Norm of the North’”.

Points of interest are, “An American animated feature film, Norm of the North, has been animated by studio Assemblage. The production of this film was entirely done in India by Assemblage, while the pre and post production was done by Splash Entertainment.”; and “‘Norm of the North’ turns out to be the second feature in Assemblage’s kitty after ‘Blinky Bill the Movie’ (2015) […] Assemblage has also produced a feature ‘Alpha and Omega 2’ and another feature ‘The Swan Princess’ is in production. Both these projects are for home viewing. Established in December 2013, Assemblage started by veteran AK Madhavan aka Mad Max is one of the few studios in India to deliver two full length feature films in such a short span since inception.” […] “The pre production in terms of scripting, story, character design and plot was given to the Assemblage team. AK Madhavan admits, ‘We got the sketches in terms of the character design from Splash Entertainment as they were the main producers of the film. A team of around 160 artists from Assemblage worked for a period of 14 months to deliver the entire production.’”

Assemblage is located in Mumbai. Splash Entertainment is in Woodland Hills, California. This is the way the animation industry works today: The head studio, usually in southern California or Vancouver or Toronto, does the preproduction of scripting the story, designing the characters and backgrounds, and directing the voice actors. The package is subcontracted to a studio in India (or Malaysia, or the Philippines …) for the animation production. Everything is shipped back to the head studio for the post production of producing the music and sound effects, and combining everything into the finished film. “Alpha and Omega 2” and “The Swan Princess” are from Richard Rich’s Crest Animation Studios in Burbank, California. Disney’s Indian production studio of choice is Prana Studios in Mumbai. Check the lengthy end credits for the details.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

So, you are afraid people will avoid animal movies more after seeing this.

But moviegoers will not avoid HUMAN movies after seeing The Force Awakens ;)

It'll be fine.

Well, I'll be...

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (3 votes)

Dearest Cassidy and other fellow movie reviewers of Flayrah,

You are of course invited to review all of the furry movies you want, and I am looking forward to future contributions of this type.You may have noticed I have slowed down recently, and missed a great number of furry movies released in the last two years; editorial duties (and a broken computer at one point) have taken their toll. Especially given the amount of furry movies coming this year, multiple movie reviewers will be helpful. Together, we can better bring the depth of furry movie coverage our readers desire and maybe even deserve.

However, I'm telling you all right now, Kung Fu Panda 3 is off limits; I will cut you.

Thank you, and fondest wishes!

Yours truly,


Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Okay, but I missed why "Kung Fu Panda 3" is off limits. You don't like DreamWorks' having so much of it done in China? You don't like DreamWorks' business practices? You're tired of endless sequels? What about "Minions" and other animation from Illumination Entertainment? Its business office and, I assume, its writers, storyboard artists, voice actors, etc. are in Hollywood and its animation studio is in Paris. With one big exception: the directors in Paris have dibs on voicing the minions themselves.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Well buddy, when're you seeing it? Cause I'm seeing it tomorrow at 2:30 ;3

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Proud Staffer of VancouFur 2017~

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

See, I was worried about this. It's more just a request; I mean, I'm really, really begging you to let me have this one, pretty please, with sugar on top. It's kind of important to me (yes, you'll definitely see it first). At the very least, having to edit the story after publicly pleading for you will be pretty awkward now ...

But, you know, if you have any other movies you'd like to call now, that's fine (also any other reviewers out there); the exception is Zootopia, not because I'm also calling that, but because that one has grown to such an important place in the subculture we all probably want a shot at that (I'm currently expecting at least five people to show up, review it, and then never appear again), and it's important enough to warrant multiple takes.

Of course, speaking of multiple takes, if you let me have this one and it turns out I love it and you hate it (or vice versa), a point/counterpoint type pair of reviews might be okay.

But anyway, pretty please, let me review this one. Please?

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Well you can have Zootopia, I won't even argue. I don't even plan to see until it's long out on DVD and I 'rent' it. ;3

As for KFP3, I mean, if I have something to say maybe I'll say something, or I'll let you do your review. I'd say you have a pretty good shot at reviewing it before me just cause I'm busy. Too busy to sit and type for a while. So you got this. I don't mind. But I am claiming Sly Cooper and Angry Birds, and of course my beloved Rock Dog. But everything else we can discuss. ;3

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Proud Staffer of VancouFur 2017~

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

Thank you, and uh, actually probably a good decision; you've spent a bit too much verbiage on "hating" Zootopia. You're kind of invested in it sucking; the way human nature goes is that if you want to hate something, you will, but if you want to like something, you may just end up disappointed.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Well now I've seen Kung Fu Panda 3, and I've got...some things to say. :3
I'll save them for your post's comments. ;3

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Proud Staffer of VancouFur 2017~

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

"Yo, crossie."

"What up, Cassie?"

"I got somethin' to say. FUCK THE PO ... lice."

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Heh we're really getting a Jake & Amir style relationship going eh? XD
(Google it ;3 )

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Proud Staffer of VancouFur 2017~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Actually, my sister Sherry is taking me in my wheelchair to the Anime L.A. convention out in Ontario, CA (about 60 miles away) this morning. That'll be an all-day trip. She's not keen to see "Norm of the North" (I can't blame her, from the reviews), and my hospital is complaining that I've been going out too much recently. And Sherry does have her own life, and I have a couple of new books to read. So it'll probably be a few days until she can take me out again to see "Kung Fu Panda 3".

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

It's off-limits because I want to review it. I'm calling "MINE!"

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I thought that we wanted multiple opinions on the same movies and books -- that one of the problems was that I was writing all of the reviews, so mine was the only opinion that Flayrah's readers were getting? Why shouldn't we get several reviews of "Kung Fu Panda 3" by different people?

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (3 votes)

That was never me; I never had a problem with all the reviews being by you. I in fact defended your reviews multiple times, mostly from people who thought your positive reviews weren't, I don't know, positive enough. I only had a problem keeping up with you, because you are prolific, man! Also, my computer broke. I think I've said that before.

And anyway, even if I did agree, it's a difference in scale; you were reviewing mostly independently published and small press stuff. Your reviews were about the only press they were getting, and if one review resulted in one sale, well, that was still significant. Kung Fu Panda 3 and Zootopia and Norm of the North and what not are big budget movies with international audiences and entire websites devoted to quantifying their reviews; we're a drop in the bucket, and they don't need us. And multiple reviews (especially if we all agree) would just bore our readers.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Aww, but it'd be fun to see Fred saying "crossie got this movie all wrong". ;-)
(Though often that works just as well in a comment, rather than an entire story…)

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

I agree fred but there's always another site happy to host your review if only one's allowed here :)

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About the author

CassidyTheCivet (Cassidy Civet)read storiescontact (login required)

a musician and Malay Civet from Vancouver, interested in music and art!

I'm a female civet! Always down for a good time, but never a cup of coffee. ;3
I am a musician and artist, as I say, a born musician and a living artist!

Cons Attended:
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