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'Smallfoot' (2018) Movie Review

I've seen Harry and the Hendersons, I know all about the Bigfoot.


The Plot

Smallfoot is centered on a society of yetis living at the top of the mountains in total seclusion and under the illusion that there is nothing outside their civilization and the idea of humans, a.k.a. ‘smallfoots’, are no more than myths to them. That is until one day when Migo (Channing Tatum) happens upon a ‘smallfoot’, causing him and a small group of other yetis to question what else might actually exist. So they set off down the mountain to prove to their people that humans are real and that there is much more outside of their village.

It's Fine... Yep.

I’m going to come right out and say that this movie is perfectly fine; it’s relatively cute, the story is fine, the message within the subtext is good for children to learn honestly, the characters (for the most part) are likable, the voice acting (for the most part) is good, the animation is actually pretty good and it is a gorgeous looking film at times. My only problem with the movie is that it really isn’t all that funny. And that for me is a big problem. Not to say that the movie is necessarily annoying by any means because it’s not, with the exception of one specific character, everyone is perfectly serviceable. But most of the jokes in this movie fall flat, not hard enough to ever get mad, but just enough to scoff and get somewhat bored. I think that having another re-write on the script to punch up the comedy would have severely added a lot to this film. As it is, it is okay. But nothing that I would say is absolutely necessary to put on for the kids when there’s an endless supply of other kid’s flicks out there at our disposal to watch.


It May Be Fine, But I Can Still Complain!

Now when I say that that the majority of the characters are likable, I am heavily excluding the character of Fleem, voiced by Ely Henry. His character irked me quite a bit, he doesn’t have a whole lot of screen time, but for the ten to fifteen minutes that he had I was kind of annoyed. Fleem is that character that is only there to throw out a lot of cheap one-liners and adds nothing else to the story or characters surrounding him. Most of his dialog can be summed up with, “perfect trailer lines” just to be used to make idiots chuckle when they see the preview. If at the very least he served some sort of purpose for anything I could maybe forgive it to an extent, but he doesn’t do anything; he is a completely pointless character that should have been cut from the script entirely.

One very small nitpick I have with the film is the Stonekeeper’s voice. He is voiced by Common, who I don’t have a problem with voicing the character, but I do have a small issue with how he voiced the character. The Stonekeeper comes across as though he should have the voice of an older man, maybe somewhat graveled in a way, to me it’s very apparent in the design of how this character should sound. And I know that Common can do a good gravely voice, but for some reason his voice is very light and youthful sounding. I don’t know why it bothered me and in all honesty it wasn’t anything too distracting, but it just felt as though it should have been further developed on.

Oh, By The Way, IT’S A MUSICAL!

I didn’t know this going into the movie, but when the characters all started singing at first I was a little confused. It kind of came out of nowhere and didn’t know what to think about it, but for the most part the music is fine. There’s nothing too condescending about it or anything like that, but the songs are a bit forgettable. I watched the movie last night and I can honestly only remember one song, not even the actual song itself but the song that it is based off of, which was Under Pressure by Queen. There’s not a single note or melody lingering in my head from any of the songs in Smallfoot. Like I said though, they weren’t bad, just didn’t have much going for them. The lyrics were easy and the music had no real hooks.

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That's All There Is, Toots.

I know that it sounds like I’m really harping on this film, but that’s because there isn’t all that much to talk about with this. It was generally ‘okay’, nothing all that offensive or irritating or even bad, it’s just okay. And that’s okay to be okay, okay isn’t bad, okay is okay and it’s okay to be okay. Okay? Seriously though, if someone decides to show this to their children I think that they’ll have a fine enough time with it. I don’t believe the adults will be all that entertained so I suggest finding something else to do while the kiddos watch, but it won’t kill anyone either. The animation was what particularly held my interest for the ninety minute runtime. I also did appreciate the message the film had to say pertaining to “asking questions” and not just simply blindly accepting things without reason or proof. I thought that was a good lesson for kids to learn, instead of stuffing our curiosities down so we forget about them we should be curious and look for answers. I liked that about this movie. A lot of the movie is likable, sadly not all that humorous though. So take that for what you will I suppose. Not great, not terrible, it’s a movie.

Smallfoot Amazon Prime Video

© 2018 John Plocar

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