You could be forgiven for wondering what the hell you are in for when you walk into the cinemas to see Smallfoot. While the trailer promises some Yeti fun the voice cast has to be one of the biggest mish-mash of voice actors you are ever likely to see. Sorry but if I were to walk into a bar and I saw the likes of Danny DeVito, Common, LeBron James and James Corden sitting at a table together I would be wondering what on earth was going on… yet somehow Smallfoot turns out to be one of the most enjoyable and smartest animated family films you will see this year.
Smallfoot sees Percy (James Corden – Trolls, The Three Musketeers) in a world of trouble. His television show just doesn’t rate anymore, simply because it is factual about nature and the kids of today just don’t want that kind of show. Desperate to improve his ratings he plans on creating a ‘Yeti’ that he can use as click-bait.
However Percy doesn’t have to ‘create’ anything because unknown to him on top of the mountain that he is at the foot of is a colony of Yetis. Part of the colony is Migo (Channing Tatum – 21 Jump Street, Foxcatcher) who just can’t live up to his father’s expectations and the inquisitive Meechee (Zendaya – The Greatest Showman, Spider-Man: Homecoming) who is beginning to doubt the religion that her father, The Stonekeeper (Common – Suicide Squad, Wanted), uses to rule the other Yetis. The real fun starts though after percy and Migo meet for the first time.
Smallfoot works on so many different levels. First of all credit must be paid to the filmmakers behind the film. The screenplay written by Karey Kirkpatrick (Imagine That, Over The Hedge) and Clare Sera (Blended, Doin’ It Yourself) absolutely nails what a family film should be. They have truly created a film that reaches out and entertains all year levels. There are great moral lessons in there for kids while adults are entertained by a story that explores deep topics such as should we expect our kids to follow in our footsteps when it comes to religion or employment and takes a gentle swipe at the educational television currently on screen for youngsters.
Of course that screenplay also mixes the right amount of drama and comedy, and this is one film where you will be on the edge of your seat at one moment with suspense and the next moment laughing your head off. That right mix then means when Kirkpatrick and co-director Jason Reisig (first time director) put together the film that can meld genres together amazingly well. And boy do they meld – as I said this film can go to drama to comedy in a flash and it also throws in some pretty catchy songs that work as well. It isn’t surprising though that this team know what it takes to make a family film work when you consider that combined this team have worked on films including Over The Hedge, Shrek and Kung-Fu Panda. The result is a film that is enjoyable for Mums and Dads and is guaranteed to have your children staying in their seats and not running around the cinema because they have lost interest.
Smallfoot is an absolute gem of a family film. It delivers some morals and lessons without getting preachy, the voice cast come together very well indeed (Channing Tatum also delivers an amazing musical number) and above all it provides a few laughs while entertaining the socks off you. This is a film that your whole family is going to love.