Guest Writer: John Enfield
A cute story for the kiddos about today’s notion that maybe humans are the real monsters.
Based on the book Yeti Tracks by Sergio Pablos, this Warner Animation Group film somehow turns that title into ‘Smallfoot’. Apparently, Channing Tatum, James Corden, Common, LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, etc. are just the folks to voice cute cartoon characters in this twist on the abominable snowman myth.
A splinter group of yetis (aka bigfoots) think that ‘smallfoots’ (aka humans) might actually exist. Bigfoots vs smallfoots – get it? Naturally, the rest of the villagers don’t believe this group, especially our main protagonist, Migo (voiced by Channing Tatum who played ‘Duke’ in the G.I. Joe movie) and banish him from the village.
So, now Migo is off on an epic quest to prove that he wasn’t lying about seeing a smallfoot. He does so by catching a smallfoot in a twist on the old ‘boy finds a wild animal/alien/horror movie monster/etc. and tries to turn it into a pet’ theme. The trailer features what are likely the funniest of the jokes that pepper this action-comedy. Some are actually rather clever (such as when they show what humans sound like to yetis and what yetis sound like to humans while we, the audience, can understand both), while others are homages to gags we’ve seen in dozens of Looney Tunes cartoons (like Migo getting crushed by two mountain peaks but being just fine later on).
The computer animation is rather impressive, showing just how far we’ve come from the Toy Story days, though the human characters are about as exaggerated as the yetis are. If the music in the trailer is representative of what will be in the movie (it isn’t always), expect a sound track full of jangly, kid-friendly alternative rock we’ve been treated to in many kids’ movies lately such as Hotel Transylvania, The Emoji Movie and Despicable Me.
Young kids should find the characters cute and the slapstick humor funny, though some of the dialog humor may go over their heads. If your kids can handle the ‘scares’ and ‘peril’ in movies like Monster’s Inc., they’ll be fine with Smallfoot as far as one can tell from this trailer. If you’re someone who likes to read the book that a movie is based on before you go see it, good luck this time. An internet search of Good Reads, Barnes and Noble and websites about kids’ books turned up nothing for ‘Yeti Tracks’. Maybe that will change after the movie comes out.