The Aisle Seat - Movie Reviews by Mike McGranaghan
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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan

"SMALLFOOT"

Smallfoot

The central joke in Smallfoot is a bit corny, but if you can get past it, you'll find a fairly charming little family picture. It's about a Yeti -- also known as a Bigfoot -- who meets a human being, whom he refers to as a "Smallfoot." Get it? Yeah, it's definitely corny. Fortunately, most of the other jokes are better, and there's a nice message tucked inside. The film will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack December 11.

Channing Tatum provides the voice of Migo, a Yeti who lives in a mountaintop community, far above the clouds. He and his fellow citizens follow the rules that have been firmly established by the Stonekeeper (Common), whose collection of rocks spell out all the dos and don'ts. One day, Migo accidentally gets knocked partway down the mountain, where he encounters a wildlife television show host, Percy (James Corden). Upon returning home to tell the tale of the "smallfoot," Migo creates chaos and panic, as he discovers not everyone is as excited about this discovery as he is.

The plot of Smallfoot is a little thin, especially in comparison to other recent animated features. That aside, it benefits from appealing characters and a good sense of humor. Migo's friends are a colorful and motley group who help him get into all sorts of trouble. One of the funniest scenes finds them trying to lower Migo down the side of a cliff so he can look for the human, only to have the plan go disastrously wrong. The way in which Migo and Percy try to communicate with each other additionally provides laughs. The Yeti's speech sounds like a growl to the human, while his voice sounds like an indecipherable squeak. Smallfoot has some fun riffing on the idea that something like Bigfoot might actually exist and would be just as baffled by mankind as mankind would be by it.

Underneath the humor and the stylish animation is a good-hearted story about learning not to be afraid of those who are different from you. This is a nice idea to impart to young viewers, and they are likely to be enthralled by the way in which both Migo and Percy learn it. Smallfoot boasts some catchy songs and cleverly designed musical numbers that advance the story, as well. All in all, this is a pleasing family film that should delight members of all ages.

( out of four)

Blu-ray Features:

Smallfoot arrives on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD on December 11. A complimentary copy of the Blu-ray was provided by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment for the purposes of this review.

In addition to the feature itself, the "sing-along" version is also here, meaning that the song lyrics are presented onscreen during the musical sequences. Other extras include "Super Soozie," a mini-movie featuring the character Soozie, a Yeti toddler. "Migo in The Secret of the Yeti Stones" is a sequence in storyboard format. "Yeti or Not, Here They Come" is a making-of feature focusing on the design, animation, and voicework. Three music videos can be found in the supplements -- one for Niall Horan's theme song "Finally Free," one for Cyn's "Moment of Truth," and one featuring the movie's tune "Wonderful Life" being sung in multiple languages. Several theatrical trailers/promos are here, too.


Smallfoot is rated PG for some action, rude humor, and thematic elements. The running time is 1 hour and 36 minutes.


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