Review: Smallfoot

7 10

PLOT:  Migo (Channing Tatum), a big-hearted Yeti, learns that the myths he’s be raised believing are false when he discovers a mysterious “smallfoot”, actually a human TV host (James Corden) desperately in need of a comeback. 

REVIEW: SMALLFOOT is deceptively intelligent for a kids movie. While I went into this expecting a lot of silly songs and pratfalls, something this has in spades, under the surface there’s a smart, almost philosophical story about the danger of being a cog in a machine and not questioning those in power. While I’m sure this message will be lost on the youngest viewers, adults will be duly impressed by this animated feature, which even works in a reference to the “turtles all the way down” expression of the problem of infinite regress. Oh yeah, and Channing Tatum sings… 

Without digging into it too much, this seems like a smart bet for Warner Animation, in an attempt to do something outside the LEGO MOVIE franchise. While maybe more distinctly aimed at kids than the more risqué (slightly) LEGO films, SMALLFOOT has a lot of charm. Channing Tatum sounds comfortable voicing our likable lead, a big, goofy, heroic, not-too-bright Yeti, who finds his perception challenged when he encounters James Corden’s nature host human. In a fun twist, the humans and Yetis can’t communicate, with everything the Yeti’s are saying coming out as tremendous roars, while the humans sound like tiny pipsqueaks. Both kids and adults laughed throughout the press screening. Tatum has the chance to sing a couple of songs, in a laid-back, easygoing style that led my girlfriend to whisper to me “hey, he has a nice voice.” 

Meanwhile, Zendaya is more than capable as his love interest, Meechee, getting a good song of her own, which Common (in one of three movies I saw him in this week – he’s everywhere!) even raps a number as the patriarchal stone-keeper, in charge of the Yeti myths. If any of the voices rubbed me the wrong way, I’d wager it was James Corden. A little of him goes a long way and once he launched into a freestyle rap of “Under Pressure” I must admit I cringed. 

However, that’s about the only place SMALLFOOT really stumbles. Obviously it’s not Pixar, but it’s much better than your typical middle-of-the-road CG animated tale. It’s smart, sweet-natured, and best of all, short, running just over ninety minutes. Kids will love this fun, colorful story while adults will get a kick out of Tatum’s crooning, a part for the great Danny DeVito as his dad and the surprisingly smart storyline. I had fun. 

Source: JoBlo.com



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