Smallfoot is the fifth movie released from the somewhat new Warner Animation Group. The film’s cast is full of recognizable celebrities such as Channing Tatum, Zendaya, and Danny Devito. Warner Animation Group is responsible for one of my personal favorite movies, The Lego Movie, so needless to say I have high hopes for the studio. Unfortunately, Smallfoot doesn’t quite live up to some of the studio’s previous films.
Smallfoot tells the story of Migo, a yeti who is cast out of his village for trying to convince everyone that he has seen a human (or a Smallfoot, as they call us in the movie). The film is full of tropes that you’ll probably feel like you’ve seen a hundred times already, making the whole movie feel a little familiar (it’s the strangers-from-different-worlds-become-friends type of scenario you’ve heard before). Don’t watch this movie expecting to see an amazing and original plot, because you will be a little disappointed.
Smallfoot’s biggest problem is the pacing of the plot. A lot happens in the first seven minutes, and there are huge chunks of time in the film with not a whole lot going on. Smallfoot never quite finds its stride. The movie also contains a few songs, which I was surprised by. You don’t often see musical movies outside of Disney, so it's always nice to see another studio attempt a musical film. The songs aren’t necessarily bad, most of them just don’t actually help move the plot along. For a film to work as a musical, the music has to serve a purpose. You could completely cut out a few of the songs and would not lose any plot or character development.
As I previously mentioned, the film features a cast of recognizable celebrities for its voice actors. Unfortunately, the stars they picked don’t have particularly interesting voices. Aside from Danny Devito playing Migo’s father, every character’s bland voice causes them to be pretty unmemorable. I don’t have a problem with the acting of any of the celebrities, but fun and bouncy animated characters should have interesting voices to match, and when I picture what the voice of a Yeti should sound like, Channing Tatum isn’t the first person who comes to mind.
Despite the many reservations I have about Smallfoot, there’s also a lot to like about this movie. The animated winter environment looks great, and there are a few visual shots that were incredibly creative and beautifully done. Almost all of Warner Animation Group’s previous films have had really fun and creative animated styles. The Lego Movie did an excellent job of making their characters seem fluid and smooth while being made out of plastic bricks, and Storks had such an exaggerated bouncy style that was perfect for slapstick jokes. While Smallfoot’s animation isn’t as over the top and creative as some of the studio’s previous films, the characters are still animated in a fun and cartoony way.
The movie has a few written and visual jokes that I laughed pretty hard at, as well as a few unexpected character interactions that were pretty funny. And while the plot is basic, the story also has a nice message overall about seeking the truth and sticking up for what you believe in.
Should you go and see Smallfoot? Yes. It's a genuinely fun movie to watch, with some pretty decent music. It's not the best that Warner Animation Group has ever come up with, but it's worth your time if you want to go to the movies for a fun and stress-free film.