This post was sponsored by Lionsgate as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

Get ready to #BreakTheNorm with Norm of the North! Check out topics to discuss with your kids after the movie, plus enter for a chance to win a $100 Fandango gift card!I love when a family film goes beyond simple entertainment to really drive home incredible life lessons, which is why I’m really looking forward to seeing Lionsgate’s latest movie, Norm of the North. At first glance, it looks like a lighthearted movie about a talkative polar bear and his lemming sidekicks taking on the big city. While that’s definitely a big part of the movie, Norm of the North is also filled with valuable lessons for the whole family.

Norm of the North: What’s it All About?

As mentioned above, Norm of the North is Lionsgate’s latest movie, releasing into theaters on January 15, 2016. Norm, the titular polar bear, is a big-hearted, talkative Ursus maritimus who sets off on a journey from the Arctic to NYC to save his home from developers. He brings along a few lemming friends to keep him company. While he’s there, he has a bit of an identity crisis when it turns out that he’s become the mascot for the very company he’s trying to stop!

Norm is destined to be king of the Arctic one day, but he finds himself wondering if he has what it takes. See, Norm’s not like other polar bears. He talks, dances and has more human-like emotions than his peers. Do these things make him a better bear or will they hold him back from fulfilling his destiny?

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When I see a movie with Jake, I like to file away potential topics for discussion after the film. I find that movies are a great way to bring up a myriad of subjects and open up a dialogue in a light, relatable way. A few great topics that Norm of the North brings up include:

Taking the Plunge & Jumping in With Both Feet!

Get ready to #BreakTheNorm with Norm of the North! Check out topics to discuss with your kids after the movie, plus enter for a chance to win a $100 Fandango gift card!

The core message behind Norm of the North is all about taking changes and not being afraid to venture out of your comfort zone. Taking the plunge and jumping in with both feet! I think this is something every child and parent can relate to. I’ve had to take a lot of chances and jump out of my shy comfort zone just to become a successful blogger.

Jacob has always been leery of new things. I remember his first day of kindergarten, he hid behind the mailboxes when the bus arrived. It took ten minutes and five people to coax him out. When he was 5, he told me he wanted to take karate. Yet when we got there, it took 20 minutes to coax him into actually talking to the instructor! We’ve run into similar issues with every new activity, but once he gets into it, he loves it. This month, he’ll be starting a new karate class (it’s been a few years since he’s gone). He’s also signed up for more activities at school. Norm of the North opens up great opportunities to talk to kids about fear and the benefits of “taking the plunge.”

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Being True to Yourself

Norm is different from other polar bears, and those differences make him worry that he won’t be a good leader. Our kids are constantly worrying about whether it’s socially safe to be themselves among their peers. I want my son to love who he is. Choosing different paths, liking different things- these are the things that make us all individuals. Norm also faces a dilemma when he finds out that he’s being used by Mr. Greene, the very man he came to fight. He has to be true to himself and his own ideals, stand up for what he believes in. By being yourself and being true to yourself, you’ll be ready to take on all of life’s adventures.

Teamwork 

As Norm demonstrates in the Arctic Shake video, there’s nothing you can’t do when you work together! Norm can’t take on Mr. Greene alone, he’ll need help from his friends. He’ll also need some wisdom from Socrates along the way, I’m sure! This teaches kids that it’s okay to ask for help. In fact, it’s not just okay, it’s necessary. No one gets through the adventure of life without a little help every now and then.

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Norm of the North Activities & Downloads

Get ready to #BreakTheNorm with Norm of the North! Check out topics to discuss with your kids after the movie, plus enter for a chance to win a $100 Fandango gift card!

Head over to the Norm of the North website to check out tons of fun activities and downloads to get your kids excited about the release of the movie! Be sure to print out the super cool activity book, with fun games for kids of all ages. You can also make your own Papercraft Norm and download wallpapers. In the “Games” section, check out Lemming Launch and Digit Dodge (a fun math game!).

$100 Fandango Gift Card Giveaway

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I-C will randomly select 5 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.
Norm of the North Giveaway

What do you think you and your family will love most about Norm of the North? Tell me in the comments!