A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom is the sequel to 2016's talking polar bear comedy Norm of the North. This time around, Norm, newly crowned king of the Arctic, is invited back to New York City to receive the key to the city -- only to be caught up in a mistaken-identity crime. Expect a tad of insult language ("nerd," "butt"), some potty humor (i.e., plenty of fart jokes), and a dash of violence (pratfalls, a police chase, etc.), but this is mostly a harmless sequel about the value of teamwork and becoming a good leader.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
NORM OF THE NORTH: KEYS TO THE KINGDOM follows polar bear Norm (voiced by Andrew Toth) as he's crowned king of the Arctic. On the day of his coronation, his best human friend, Olympia (Maya Kay), calls Norm with great news: The mayor of New York City is going to give Norm the key to the city, which in this movie literally opens every door in New York. Norm travels to Manhattan with his oldest son (and three adorably mischievous lemmings) for the ceremony -- but that same night, someone in a polar bear suit swipes the key and starts robbing banks. Norm, Olympia, and the gang solve the mystery, only to return to the Arctic and discover that a bottled-water company is stealing chunks of ice to package. Norm must rise to the occasion and save his habitat in an unconventional manner.
Is it any good?
Considering that the original was only passable, it's no wonder this sequel is even less appealing; it's likely to delight only very young moviegoers more excited about the experience than the movie. It's not literally the worst animated family movie ever made (there's always something worse, like Alpha and Omega 2), but it's definitely forgettable. It almost feels like two disconnected storylines from an episodic TV show: "Norm and friends have to solve the mystery of who's robbing banks while disguised as bears" and "Norm and pals have to save their Arctic home from an unethical corporation."
The animation is amateurish, and at times the voice performances don't perfectly match up with their characters' lip and facial movements. That's not to say that young, polar bear-loving kids who enjoyed the first movie won't also like this unnecessary installment. But adults, parents, and older kids won't find Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom a satisfying watch. It simply doesn't stack up against all the competition for quality children's and family entertainment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom's messages about leadership and governance. How does Norm learn to be a good king? How is the mayor an example of how not to rule?
Parents can also discuss the ongoing popularity of talking-animal movies. Why do you think this one has only two animal characters that can speak to humans?
Why do you think so many kids' movies include potty humor? Is that the only way to make children laugh? What's the appeal?
How does the story show the value of teamwork?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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