At a packed and partisan Bercy Stadium in Paris, Norway's 22-year-old goalkeeper Torbjorn Bergerud held the defending champion at bay until just before half-time.
However, after going 18-17 in front at the interval, France then raced ahead and never looked in danger of defeat.
The turning point came in the closing minutes of the first period as France's two stars, Nikola Karabatic and Valentin Porte, grabbed quick-fire unanswered goals.
"Words cannot describe the feeling, after all the pressure this month hosting the tournament, I feel deep pride at the level of support from French handball fans, they made us dream," Karabatic said.
Karabatic and Porte went on to rack up six and five goals each as rank outsiders Norway looked on powerlessly as the side which choked in the Rio Olympic final against Denmark rose brilliantly to the occasion.
France came out for the second period with all guns blazing and quickly scored a flurry of goals, forcing a five-goal lead and panicking the Norwegians into a time-out within five minutes of the restart.
The runner-up, however, did have two outstanding performers in keeper Bergerud, man-of-the-match in its semi-final win over Croatia, which was again excellent, and Kent Robin Tonnesen, 25, who scored five times and was a constant physical menace.
Luka Karabatic, the team's injured pivot who partnered elder brother Nikolas to the 2015 world title, said it had been agony watching the game from the bench.
"Norway had a great first half and it was very difficult to watch, but when we went in at the break a goal up I knew it would be okay," he said.
"We were carried by the crowd and they cracked."
France keeper Thierry Omeyer, who was in the French side which won the title on home ground back in 2001, also thanked the fans.
"We are all really proud to fill these stadiums, it's just been huge having our families here and all our handball friends," said the 40-year-old stopper, who is now mulling retirement.
France won the handball world championships for a sixth time with a 33-26 come from behind win over Norway, who made the host sweat by leading for most of the first half.
It is the first time that Slovenia has made the podium at the world event. In 2004, it won silver at the European championships played on home soil.
Slovenia claimed third place at the world handball championships on Sunday (AEDT) with a 31-30 win over Croatia, overturning an 18-13 half-time deficit.