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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids can learn about protecting the environment and getting involved in activist causes to try to bring about social change. The ending suggests the solution is for governments to protect lands.
The film aims to convey an environmental message about protecting wildlife and natural habitats from invasive and damaging human activities like deep oil drilling. There are other messages about making positive uses of having a platform, due to fame or a wide social media following -- potentially by taking a stand on a worthwhile issue. There are a couple of lines about "fake news," including one that people will believe anything if it's repeated often enough. Families stick together. It's important to be media literate and critical of corporate messages.
Positive Role Models
Bigfoot wants to make use of his fame for something more significant than personal profit. He wants to show his son, Adam, that "one person can make a difference." Adam's classmates and school principal want to exploit him to get close to Bigfoot. Adam uses his tech savvy to help his father's videos go viral, though he initially does this for selfish purposes. Later, when his dad goes missing, he and his mom put their own lives in danger to go look for him. A stereotypical Texan oil man stashes his Stetson, dresses up as a progressive, and records soothing ads to fool people into believing his company is environmentally friendly. He says if anything goes wrong with their oil drilling, they'll "issue a standard apology." A man suggests it would be "weird" to offer to accompany another man going pee in the woods at night; another man seems put off by his male partner clinging to him following a motor crash. A business agent is only concerned with profits and making a commission. Stereotypical depictions of Americans and Canadians.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon violence involving animated characters (humans and animals) runs the gambit from guards shooting tranquilizer darts to characters crashing, falling off cliffs, shooting down raging rapids, and flying over waterfalls, to wild animals threatening humans, to people being shoved down mining shaft and chased by killer drones over rollercoaster-like mining tracks. A "hired gun" handcuffs Adam and attempts to kill him and his family. He says he once used a bomb to blow up a foster home when he was a kid. Bigfoot and Adam are both nearly crushed by falling constructions and blown up by ticking bombs. When Adam thinks he might die, he records a good-bye message for his parents and high school crush.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adam has a crush on his classmate Emma. She thinks he's "cute," but he's too shy to ask her out until the end of the movie. Adam's mom wants to tell him about the first time she and his father kissed. Adam and Emma kiss at the end, prompting Adam's bigfoot toes to pop out of his shoes. A talk show host flirts with Bigfoot, complimenting his looks and touching his muscles.
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"Damn," "jeez," "jeesh," "suckers," "stupid," "shoot," "shut up," "knucklehead," "psychopath," "insane," "fool." Some mild bathroom references.
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Products & Purchases
Though characters are protesting big oil drilling, they stop at the same "bad" company's gas station to fill up the tank on their family van. They drink so many to-go coffees (with a Starbucks-like logo) that they end a long drive with a pile of disposable cups in their car. Corporations are shown to be untrustworthy.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bigfoot Family, the European-produced follow-up to Son of Bigfoot, aims to send a message about protecting wildlife and natural habitats from damaging activities like deep oil drilling, but it also has lots of animated violence. Bigfoot (voiced by Alexis Victor) wants to use his newfound fame to make a difference in the world, and he lands on the environmental cause. The oil company's chief is a lying, stereotypically portrayed imposter who doesn't care at all about the environment -- or human or animal life. Bigfoot's teen son, Adam (Pappy Faulkner), just wants his dad around more, but when Bigfoot goes missing, he and his mom put their lives at risk to find him and bring him home. They face everything from guards shooting tranquilizer darts to situations involving crashing, falling, rushing down raging rapids, flying over waterfalls, confronting wild animals, killer drones, ticking bombs, and more. When Adam thinks he might die, he records a good-bye message for his parents and his high school crush (they share a single kiss at the end). Language, including bathroom references, includes "damn," "jeez," "suckers," "stupid," "shut up," "knucklehead," "psychopath," "insane," and "fool." A man suggests that it would be "weird" to offer to accompany another man going pee in the woods at night; another man seems put off by his male partner clinging to him following a motor crash. Stereotypical depictions of both Americans and Canadians. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This animated film starts off strong, but soon loses its way a bit. After a cute set-up with charming characters, attractive environmental messages, a stirring soundtrack, and a unique setting, this film nearly throws it all away in the second half as it devolves into 40 minutes of needless action. This change in tone accompanies the shift in focus from the "good guys" of the Bigfoot Family to the "bad guys" working for the oil company, and it comes with painfully awkward, gratuitous lines like the "hired gun" who says he once used a bomb "to blow up my old foster home when I was a kid." He and a bunch of security guards are put in charge of trying to kill Bigfoot and his family, including the teenage son, who they try to shoot with tranquilizer darts, drive off a cliff, shove down a mining shaft, and attack with killer drones. For a children's film, having characters show such callousness in attempting to kill a child, even an animated one, is neither funny nor fun.
The highlights of the film are the Bigfoot family characters and the animals. The humorous rapport between the well-meaning pet bear and the boastful raccoon provides some laughs, and the wild animals -- the lone wolf who knows his place in the wild, the perpetually-pursued snow bunny, and the aggressive moose with the "get off my land" message -- bring purpose and a certain depth to the story. They embody the film's environmental messages. Kids won't likely miss the "big oil is bad" moral, but they could take away a confused message from toss-away lines about "journalistic integrity" and "fake news." The film's European makers also seemed to want to poke a little fun by comparing pleasant Canadian border guards to their hostile, militaristic American counterparts. Meanwhile, Bigfoot's rushing to a protest site to do something good with his newfound fame is meant to be admirable, and the cause that draws him turns out to be worthwhile. But his ignorance about the actual situation there, his lack of preparation or research before landing -- apparent in his first selfies and videos (that go "viral" thanks to some fast editing by his teenage son) -- could also send the wrong message about prioritizing clicks over cause.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.