Blu-ray Review: Smallfoot

By , Contributor
Smallfoot hit theaters in late-September this year, going on to achieve solid worldwide box office despite not really seeming to bowl anyone over. Warner Animation Group has had blockbuster successes with their LEGO-related features, but their more traditionally-oriented animated features have been met more coolly. Why their Storks wasn't a bigger success is beyond me, because it was inventive and boasted some impressive animation. But it just kind of came in went, similar in a way to the reception that greeted Smallfoot.

The often dazzlingly-animated Smallfoot has a bit less to offer older viewers, but it is absolutely charming, well-crafted entertainment for younger audiences. High atop of the Himalaya mountains there live the fabled snow-bound animals known as Yeti, colloquially "abominable snowmen." Much in the sense that people have unproven suspicions of such beasts, also including the legendary "Bigfoot," the Yeti have their own notions of "Smallfoot" (aka humans). So that's the take-off point for Smallfoot, now available on Blu-ray. There's everything one would expect from a family-friendly animated feature—humor, celebrity voice performances, and songs.

Migo (Channing Tatum) is an earnest young Yeti who has the lofty goal of proving the existence of the so-called "smallfoot." He works with his dad, Yeti tribal elder Dorgle (Danny DeVito), to make the sun rise over their mountain village every morning. Of course, that's just what they think—Dorgle shoots his son, arrow-style, to strike a gong in order to "trigger" sunrise. When Migo witnesses a plane crash—accompanied by the emergency ejection of a real, live "smallfoot"—his mission reaches fever pitch.

Said "smallfoot" teams with an unscrupulous documentary filmmaker Percy Patterson (James Corden) who, in a pathetic, attention-grabbing move, decides to stage the discovery of a "Yeti." As the plot unfolds (screenplay by Karey Kirkpatrick and Clare Sera), there's puppy love romance for Migo in the form of Meechee (Zendaya), lots of impressively-animated set pieces, and plenty of twists. Too many, in a way. If anything, Smallfoot bogs down in an overly-complicated scenario that may test the attention-levels of its target demo.

While it is not a classic for the ages (and the songs aren't likely to linger in your ears for even a minute after hearing them), Smallfoot remains a relatively briskly-paced diversion that's likely to offend no one and make a lot of kid viewers happy. Warner Home Entertainment's Blu-ray includes a "Sing-Along" mode (hey, maybe the songs will stick after your kids watch the movie this way enough times!), the animated short "Super Soozie," a couple of featurettes ("Migo in the Secret of the Yeti Stones," "Yeti Or Not, Here They Come!"), and several music videos.
Smallfoot BD.jpg

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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