Smallfoot is Entertaining, Energetic & Has Surprising Depth (Review)

Share

I didn’t have high expectations for Smallfoot.  It looked like another animated kid’s movie, which  usually means something forgettable. Family/Kid’s movies are easily the most forgiving genres – parents don’t care how good the film is because the kids will like it anyway and kids don’t care because they’re kids.  So I was pleasantly surprised when Smallfoot started out good and just kept getting better. I’m surprised it wasn’t rated higher in IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. I loved it. The theater was packed – so many kids and they loved it too.

A Yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures known as “humans” really do exist.


For having such a simple plot, Smallfoot sure gets into deep philosophical territory pretty quickly.  Yetis are conformists. Everyone is following laws that were literally carved in stone and is taught to push any question deep down inside until it goes away.  So what happens when a yeti sees something that his laws tell him shouldn’t exist? Smallfoot didn’t shy away from this but instead dived headlong into some of the more tricky implications that might arise.  It was impressive how effectively they took a complex and nuanced argument and presented it simply enough that a child would understand it.

Smallfoot was so well written.  It was the exact perfect length at 1 hour and 36 minutes.  It had the midpoint turn, the moment of despair in Act III, everything.  At every given moment you knew what each character wanted and why, and exactly how far away they were from having it.  Visually it was really good too, great character design and use of colour. I loved the voice acting as well. Not just Channing Tatum but James Corden as the frenetic human and Common as the Stonekeeper.  

The music wasn’t perfect.  I mean I was surprised that it was there at all and also by what an amazing set of pipes Channing Tatum has.  Is there anything he can’t do? But the songs weren’t catchy – not a ‘Let it Go’ in the entire thing.  But even so, it was fun to watch. The very ending also didn’t ring completely true. I don’t want to ruin it for you so I won’t say more than this:  Smallfoot could have been made better by cutting the very last 2 minutes of the film. Maybe I’m just being fussy but still, I bet I’m not the only one who felt that way

So is Smallfoot worth watching?  Yes. Surprising, I know, but yes.  It’s entertaining and energetic but it’s also a thinker, which is something comes at you out of the blue.  They could have half-assed it and they didn’t. Besides, I’ve always wanted a movie where Channing Tatum’s character didn’t wear a lick of clothing.  Well here it is.

Rating: