Sunday, December 9, 2018

Video review: "Smallfoot"

“Smallfoot” is a better idea than movie. The twist is that in this story, bigfoots really exist, except to them we’re the mythological and frightening creatures. It’s a cool concept that gets watered down into a standard kiddie film with boingy action and a slathered-on life-lessons theme.

Channing Tatum voices Migo, a young yeti who is about to take over the prestigious job of gong-ringer. This means making the sun rise by catapulting himself across their Himalayan mountain village and slamming his head into a massive gong. His dad (Danny DeVito) has held the position for many years, and has literally shrunk in the job.

A lot of the things the yetis do are like that -- they’re fun but don’t make much sense. Still, it’s a bustling place with a lot of joy.

They have some strange laws, though, enforced by the stoic Stonekeeper (Common), who wears a robe consisting of stone tiles, each one inscribed with a law known to be true. One of them reads, “There is no such thing as a smallfoot.” Odd that they would have a word and a rule for something that supposedly doesn’t exist.

Soon enough Migo stumbles across a real smallfoot, aka human, in the form of Percy Patterson (James Corden), a down-market wildlife television personality who has come to the Himalayas in order to fake a bigfoot sighting and pump up his ratings. Then he runs into the real thing, they become fast friends and Migo takes him back to his mountaintop village.

This puts him in conflict with the Stonekeeper and the yetis’ entire belief system. But with a few musical numbers and antics, everything will turn out all right.

“Smallfoot” is animation for the whole family, or at least the sort under age 10. It’s a perfect movie for home video, since parents can hit the ‘play’ button and then find something better to do.

Video extras are decent, and include a new animated short, “Super Soozie,” about a yeti toddler. There’s also a sing-along mode, three music videos and a couple of making-of featurettes.



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