Dreamworks was always the main studio to rival Disney Animation - nonetheless WAG (Warner Animation Group) - including Illumination Entertainment - have really stepped up to the plate with their recent flurry of Lego movies. Smallfoot - a playful spin on the mythical Bigfoot creature - sees a curious yeti convinced that "humans" really do exist and that there is indeed life beyond the mountains.
A cute and wintry animation - Smallfoot conveys important messages about the struggle to except the unknown, and accept life outside the comfort zone. With fluffy white, blue and purple yetis cavorting against a stunning snowy backdrop, this quaint story teaches kids a lot about the modern world through a very Disney-type kind of song and dance. Smallfoot is meaningful on its own merits though, it delivers inventive visuals, underlines important morals and plays out silly gags for the whole family to have a fun time.
Whilst Channing Tatum heads the yeti tribe, our leading bigfoot is Stonekeeper played by Common. Tatum stars as the inquisitive yeti Migo, who has his heart set on uncovering the truth behind the mythical legend of the smallfoot (humans). He brings an adorable charisma as the friendly, not so abominable snowman who is desperate to make a change. Other surrounding characters such as Meechee, Gwangi, Kolka, Fleem and Percy all slot nicely into this world.
Smallfoot underlines how the unknown may seem scary and strange but must be learned and accepted. The film sees the Yeti tribe discriminate against the humans rather than the other way around, Common raps in one particular scene about how the smallfoot fear the yeti therefore attacked and drove them up to the mountain. It's superb that a kids animation can steer beyond from your elementary "treat others nicely" concept and go a little bit more into the nitty gritty of different social groups - but fear not Smallfoot is far from a long-winded sociology lesson.
One of the best moments actually comes from James Cordon's human character Percy - whilst he stuck out like a sore thumb in Oceans' 8, the British actor turned American TV host works really well here. Singing an inventive remix of Queen's Under Pressure,Percy explains the struggle to get noticed in the modern world of technology, the song itself better than the entirety of Bryan Singer's recent Bohemian Rhapsody. As indeed is the film - proving you don't have to be Disney to create a delightful little story for all ages to enjoy.
Pinch of info
Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.