Lionsgate announced today that it will partner with Crest Animation Studios to co-produce the stereoscopic 3D animated family feature Norm of the North as the second film in their three-picture deal. Lionsgate will distribute in North America. The announcement was jointly made today by Joe Drake, Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President; Mike Paseornek, Lionsgate President of Motion Picture Production; Ken Katsumoto, Lionsgate Executive Vice President of Family Entertainment; Noah Fogelson, CEO of Crest Animation Productions; and Seemha Ramanna, Managing Director Crest Animation Studios.
Norm of the North is written by Steven and Daniel Altiere. Delivery is anticipated for the first quarter of 2012. Katsumoto will oversee the production for Lionsgate; Crest Animation President of Production Richard Rich will oversee for Crest.
The first film in the Lionsgate/Crest partnership is the upcoming CGI animated family feature Alpha and Omega, featuring the voices of Justin Long, Hayden Panetierre, Christina Ricci, Danny Glover, Dennis Hopper and Larry Miller. Directed by Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck, Alpha and Omega is expected to premiere in October 2010.
Said Paseornek and Katsumoto, "Our partnership with Crest has gotten off to a terrific start with 'Alpha and Omega,' and Norm of the North is an ideal follow-up. In its range of characters, locations and narrative, 'Norm of the North' offers a bounty of riches for family audiences."
"We are delighted to be producing 'Norm of the North' with our friends at Lionsgate," commented Fogelson. "This is a wonderful story, full of humor and heart, and stereoscopic 3D technology will bring it vividly to life."
In the film, Norm is a Polar Bear who finds shelter in an abandoned research station when his Arctic home begins cracking and collapsing beneath him. He is accompanied by three Arctic Lemmings, sidekicks who instinctively copy Norm's every move. Norm enjoys this immensely as he has a love of entertaining, and an aversion to the mundane work in his community. All in all, life is good for our heroes; plenty of food, warmth, and aerobic dancing DVDs, which also help Norm perfect his "moves." But as the polar ice caps continue mysteriously breaking apart, their temporary home is abruptly dislodged, setting Norm and the lemmings on a journey that ends in NYC. Here Norm is discovered by the head of a multinational company and becomes their mascot. Suddenly Norm is living his performing dream as a dancing star. Unfortunately, he also soon learns the polar ice caps are continuing to break apart, and the people that made his dream come true are responsible. Norm knows he must stop them before they destroy his home, a realization that forces him to choose between life in the spotlight and his entire Polar Bear community.