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Richard Finn, Tim Maltby
Andrew Toth, Simon Hayama, Brian Dobson
Writing Credits:
Dean Stefan

Norm must keep his word and embark on a journey across the world to help recover an artifact for the people of China.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 6/11/2019

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Norm of the North: King Sized Adventure (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 30, 2019)

Back in 2016, Norm of the North earned a decidedly awful $17 million at the box office. Apparently the studio thought that seemed good enough, as the film spawned not one but two direct to video sequels.

For the third iteration in the saga, we head to 2019’s Norm of the North: King Sized Adventure. At the start, polar bear Norm (voiced by Andrew Toth) prepares for his Grandpa’s (Brian Dobson) wedding.

Before this occurs, though, Norm finds himself entangled in intrigue. An archaeologist named Jin (Simon Hayama) reveals that his former partner Dexter (Michael Dobson) wants to steal a priceless Chinese artifact.

Unsurprisingly, Jin prefers to alter this course of events. Along with some pals, Norm helps with this endeavor, all while he operates under pressure to get back to Misty Mountain in time for Grandpa’s nuptials.

Whatever one thought of the original Norm - and I didn’t think much – at least it came with some known talent behind it. If you recognize the names involved with Adventure, you’re probably related to them, as the cast and crew lack any marquee value.

I can’t call that a fatal flaw, though, as a movie doesn’t need established stars to succeed. It does require some form of cleverness or wit or intelligence, though, and Adventure comes short on any of those qualities.

Man, what a cheap-looking affair! The computer animation of Adventure would’ve looked bad 20 years ago, as we get flat, rubbery characters and one-dimensional settings.

In addition, the story becomes nothing more than an excuse for poorly executed gags and action scenes. The overall narrative goes nowhere that a viewer can’t easily predict, and its “keep your word” moral seems tacked on at best.

The voice actors seem adequate and nothing more. I can’t blame them for the film’s shortcomings, as the awful dialogue and thin characters hold back their potential.

That said, none of the performers does anything to elevate the material. They play their roles with reasonable gusto but never manage to add zest to the proceedings.

Despite its flaws, the original film still managed a few moderately entertaining moments. Nothing of the sort arrives via this dull, substandard sequel.

Face it: Adventure enjoys no reason to exist other than as cheap video product. I never thought I’d reflect fondly on the original Norm, but this awful sequel makes it look like a classic.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Norm of the North: King Sized Adventure appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a surprisingly iffy image.

Sharpness became the main concern, as the movie looked rather soft at times. Close-ups brought fairly good delineation, as those moments became the most distinctive.

However, anything wider tended to veer soft. The elements came across as awfully mushy a lot of the time, far from the crystal-clear definition usually found from computer animated efforts.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. The flick also lacked any print flaws.

Given the Arctic orientation, blue became the movie’s dominant hue. The colors seemed acceptable but only occasionally came to life, so they usually felt a bit flat.

Blacks seemed dark and deep, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. Mainly due to the softness, this was a mediocre presentation.

At least the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack came with some zing at times. The various action beats managed to open up the soundscape in a reasonably satisfying manner, as those used the various channels to a reasonable degree.

Though these didn’t crop up frequently, they still brought out a nice sense of setting. Despite the lack of consistent activity, the mix broadened enough to form a satisfactory soundfield.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music was perky and full, while effects appeared accurate and packed a nice punch. This felt like a “B” mix.

The disc opens with ads for Norm of the North and Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom. No trailer for Adventure appears here and we also fail to find any other extras.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Norm. Like the Blu-ray, it includes no extras.

Even compared to the low standards of the original film, Norm of the North: King Sized Adventure seems cheap and inane. The movie never manages a hint of entertainment value. The Blu-ray comes with generally good audio but visuals seem oddly soft and the set lacks bonus materials. Even if you loved the first flick, skip this awful sequel.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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