Robbie K here with another review, this time hitting the latest animated movie to come into the big screen and help impress your little ones. While not Disney, tonight’s first review offers the potential to teach, preach, and have your kids dancing in your seats as a new merchandising set debuts on the silver screen. What’s in store? Read on to find out as I look over
Movie: Small Foot (2018)
Cute: Animated movies often take this approach, but Small Foot especially took the reins of selling the terrifying yeti as a cute, cuddly, anthropomorphized group that look fluffy and stylish at the same time. It’s characters have that adorable round face, big shining eyes, and a happy, peppy attitude that feeds positivity to the audience around. As such, hearts will melt and smiles will shine bright as they watch the group come to life.
Animation: No surprise here, a big budget production from WB has fluid movement and articulated sequences that show off their computer work. Small Foot’s design is also colorful, vibrant, and somehow a tribute to the fashion/culture of multiple ethnicities that represent their voice actors. I myself loved the styles of the yeti’s and how chique their fur was structured to make them unique. Definitely not the most realistic, but it works.
Strong Messages: What would a kid’s movie be without important life lessons and adult politics present to provide a double layered story? Small Foot is just that, working to teach the audience the importance of trust, the questioning of theories to pursue truth and make life better, bringing cultures together to make for peace, and a variety of other messages that the world can stand to learn. It’s powerfully done, with all the magic thrown in to help bring the message to full light and let it fully settle in. Where other films are a little more subtle, Small Foot decides to just blare it full blast to get the message across, even promoting a few songs to teach the lessons.
Funny at times: I think this states it enough, but Small Foot attempts a lot of comedic styles to entertain all ages. Many of the running jokes are tributes to vine and internet videos that should be familiar to the modern era. Some are brilliantly timed, and others are included haphazardly, there to be funny for the kids alone. I myself like the cleverer references or clever wordplay, which there is actually a decent amount, so kudos to them.
Songs: While it seems the modern trend is to turn everything animated into a musical to get soundtracks out and money in. While that trend gets annoying at times, have to say that the music of Small Foot was very entertaining and fitting to the scenes that were designed with them. Beautiful, passionate songs led by Zendaya gave me the goosebumps and held such emotional fire to motivate your desire to learn new things, while the Corben’s twist on Pressure was clever, fun, and humorous to break things up. Nevertheless, this would be a fun setlist to play in the car and one worth investing in.
Lacking The Disney Magic: We know there are plenty of reasons why this is the case, but for me Small Foot is lacking the same power that bigger budget productions hold. Small Foot may be cute, but it didn’t push the boundaries of creativity, character cultivation or design. It’s not bad by any means, and while there is some originality, all the pieces don’t quite line up.
The Overdone Comedy: Again, I like many of the things this movie offers in terms of laughs, but Small Foot has difficulties with finding that balance between too much and too little. The movie loves beating running joke horses to death, while skimping on jokes that were more diverse and bridged multiple ages.
More Songs: Can’t believe I’m saying this, but in truth, the movie actually needed a few more songs to round out the experience. Zendaya’s song is amazing, but for me not so much to fashion most of the screen time songs around it. At least three different renditions were played during the film, plenty of opportunity for some of those more humorous songs to fill instead.
Character Usage/Development: Lots of voices, means lots of time management needs, and Small Foot does okay to some degree. The problem is, that they just don’t integrate the characters as well as I think they could have done. So many potential plot points, hindrances, and obstacles could have been introduced to add more to the story, but musical theatrics and cuteness took over. Much more was needed on many fronts to really tie all the characters together and launch more stories to the mix. This is probably due to lower run time, which was appreciated, but perhaps will set up for some type of Netflix series.
Overall, Small Foot is a fun ride that will appease the target audience easily enough. Music is fun, the jokes are a variety of references to get on board with, and it has that cute atmosphere you got from the trailers. And if you’ve got the little ones enjoy it with them, but realize this one doesn’t quite have the magic behind it like it wanted. It’s a little off balance, did not take the potential of developing characters, and needed more of the gimmicks to help give it that push it needed. So overall, most are going to either avoid or reserve this one for NetFlix/Redbox.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0