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This shouty, hectic family animation turns the tables on the myth of the abominable snowman. What if a village of yetis discovered the existence of the fabled smallfoot – that adorable little creature, virtually fur-free, with a head no bigger than a yeti fingernail?
The conceit is nicely done, and the film’s unexpectedly heartfelt message about empathy and looking at the world through someone else’s eyes just about makes up for its bland animation, smart-arsed script and generic clappy-blah songs.
Channing Tatum is the voice of teenage yeti Migo, who lives high in the Himalayas. For centuries the yetis of his village have obeyed laws and beliefs carved into sacred stone tablets. Their number one article of faith is that the smallfoot does not exist.
Migo is a true believer until he sees a human in the flesh and joins up with a group of dissenters led by the chief’s daughter Meechee – a kind of princess Leia of the yeti world. Down beneath the clouds, Percy (James Corden), a foppish British TV naturalist with dwindling ratings, is intent on becoming a viral sensation by capturing the first ever footage of a yeti.
The man-meets-yeti moment when Percy and Migo come face to face is cleverly pulled off. Of course, they can’t communicate: the yeti interprets Percy’s squeals of fear as singing. Aww, cute. It turns out the yetis’ elaborate creation myths were invented centuries ago to protect the village from humans who hunted them to near-extinction.
After so much charmless bang-crashy slapstick the film snowballs here into something almost deep and meaningful. That said, its faith that humans will in the end resist the urge to drive an endangered species to destruction is optimistic in a way that is only possible in a film targeted at kids.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Smallfoot review – slapstick-and-snowballs yeti adventure | Animation in film