Deep in the Himalayas a tribe of Yeti have lived for hundreds of years, isolated from the world. Their belief that there is nothing below the thick bank of clouds that has served them well. However, when Migo (Tatum) claims he encountered a SmallFoot (human), he is banished by the tribe’s leader, The Stonekeeper (Common), for defying the laws of the stones: Small Feet do not exist. But Migo is determined to prove him wrong and, with the help of the tribe’s secret conspiracy theorists (Zendaya and LeBron James among them) descends the mountain in search of one. Meanwhile, social media star Percy (Corden) is coming in the opposite direction, looking to show the world that Yeti exist and perhaps gain a few more followers in the process…
‘SmallFoot’ is a wonderful animation with an important message, one that will be appreciated by the adults who accompany the kids. The small army of writers (as many as six adapting Sergio Pablos’ book ‘Yeti Tracks’) set about exploring themes that include the danger of not asking awkward questions: just because something is set in stone doesn’t mean new ideas can’t be investigated, and we should accept with open arms alien cultures as they can only enrich our own. Don’t base your opinion on blind faith.
In what is a refreshing approach, the villain of the piece – Common’s Stonekeeper – isn’t a stick-in-the-mud but one who holds fast to his tried and tested belief system because of his deep mistrust of humans, a mistrust that’s quite understandable given what unfolds. It looks snazzy too with the eye drawn to Migo’s fur, bringing to mind the detail that went into Sully in ‘Monster’s Inc.’
But is it fun? As strong as these themes are (the story is never too far away from reminding the audience what the filmmakers are trying to say), co-directors Kirkpatrick and Reisig (the former has the less-than-convincing outings ‘Imagine That’ and ‘Over The Hedge’ on his CV, while the latter cut his teeth in the animation department on ‘Shrek’ and ‘Trolls’ among others) don’t forget the gags. There’s a funny sequence that’s more than a nod to the punishments doled out to Wile E. Coyote and the dangers of miscommunication offer up a number of strong gags with Percy hearing Migo’s language as a scary roar even though he’s only being nice.