Smallfoot review – thoughtful animated yeti musical

Channing Tatum dials it down as a bigfoot challenging dogma and discovering humans

In this animated musical from Over the Hedge director Karey Kirkpatrick and Jason Reisig, a community of yetis resides in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, governed by ancient truths inscribed on a collection of sacred rocks – a neat literalisation of the idea that some things are set in stone. A tongue-in-cheek opening number insists that any questions that dare challenge the stones be “pushed down”. When protagonist Migo (Channing Tatum, not nearly as goofily dynamic as he’s proved to be in comedies such as She’s the Man or 21 Jump Street) tells the village of a mythological “smallfoot” he’s sighted, he’s banished by the presiding Stonekeeper (rapper Common).

With the help of fringe activist group the Smallfoot Evidentiary Society (Zendaya is Meeche, LeBron James and Gina Rodriguez her shuffling sidekicks Gwangi and Kolka), he ventures below the clouds to bring back a human specimen in the form of pompous documentary explorer Percy, played, appropriately, by James Corden.

The songs are a bum note, but the film does raise thoughtful questions about dogma, fake news and the identity crises that might occur once a community’s core beliefs are challenged. The animation is admirably detailed, too, with Migo’s matted hair rendered to look like a terrier’s, Meeche’s lavender-hued coat more like a brushed maltese.

Watch a trailer for Smallfoot.

Contributor

Simran Hans

The GuardianTramp

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