In a time where diversity and inclusion are fighting to get to the forefront of companies and screens everywhere, Warner Bros. takes a breath of fresh air with their beautifully told and undeniably pleasant “Smallfoot.” With the backdrop of majestic music, “Smallfoot” takes a chance, teaching our children about trying to understand those who are different from us, and show them how to make the first steps in learning about those individuals. Anchored by the voice talents of Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, and Danny DeVito, the film presents itself as an innocent and honest piece of family enjoyment with a deeply felt message.
“Smallfoot,” tells the story of a Yeti named Migo (Tatum) who is convinced that the elusive creatures known as “humans” really do exist. When he finally encounters one named Percy (Corden), a TV host is looking for his next viral sensation, Migo and his band of friends try to open their village’s minds to these new creatures and what they stand for.
Delightfully gleeful, the animated gem embraces the innocence of its audience and gives them exactly what they want. Heavy on slapstick in the first half (perhaps a bit too much), the film makes a sincere transition to complex, substantial themes before landing in an utterly gratifying position. Slipping in and out of a song, the film rests on its simplistic story, asking and encouraging its viewers to indulge with its whimsical and perfectly pleasant execution.
Big numbers like “Wonderful Life” and “Moment of Truth” will be numbers that the kids will certainly hum on the way out but adults will find substance and grit in “Let It Lie,” a rap song performed by Common, that raises itself as one the year’s most pivotal musical moments. Same can be said for “Percy’s Pressure” (performed by James Corden), a spoof on Queen’s hit song “Under Pressure” that garners enormous chuckles.
“Smallfoot” surprises. Co-directors Karey Kirkpatrick and Jason Reisig create a movie with a ton heart, blanketed with confidence and honesty that stands out in a year of seemingly sub-standard animation. It’s something for the whole family to enjoy from start to finish.