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Smallfoot

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Smallfoot Movie Poster Image
Fun, feel-good animated musical offers positive messages.
  • PG
  • 2018
  • 96 minutes
 Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 30 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 14 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Offers lessons about importance of curiosity, asking questions, learning from those who are different from you. Also a few miscellaneous animal facts from Percy's show.

Positive Messages

Encourages curiosity, innovation, taking educated risks, and questioning the rules/the way things have always been done, if the old ways don't make sense or can't be explained. Traditions are valuable and should be respected, but don't follow them blindly. Promotes value of integrity, being true to your ideals, open communication. Listening to and learning from those who are different from you is far more productive than reacting with fear or disgust to "the other." The truth can be complicated and scary, but it's better than living a lie. Friends, family, and community are invaluable.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Migo is brave, open-minded; he values his friends and community and wants to prove himself to them. He makes a poor decision at one point but sees his error and helps set things right. Meechee is curious, adventurous, intelligent; she's constantly asking questions/looking for knowledge, wants to learn everything she can about the world. Percy is caught up in the race for ratings and fame but is reminded of what's really important: friendship, discovery, integrity. The Stonekeeper has good intentions, but he uses them to keep his people living in ignorance and fear for most of the movie.

Violence & Scariness

Humans panic when they see the yetis, which leads to a destructive/tense chase through a village. A plane crashes (smoke, fire); later, it falls over a cliff and is lost from view (wreckage is later found). Other crashes/smashings. Characters jump/fall from great heights; they're scared but unharmed. Characters use dart guns that fire sedatives. Characters sometimes scream at each other in fright. Migo's mom is dead (happened long ago). A flashback story (accompanied by a slightly creepy song) shows cruelty/weapons use based on hate and fear. An eagle snatches a goat. Confrontation with an angry bear (quickly turns funny); one character is caught in a bear trap. One character gets sick, which worries the others.

Sexy Stuff

Flirting between two central characters; Migo is clearly enamored of Meechee.

Language

Infrequent use of words including "butt," "dumb," "crap," "crazy," "weird," "stupid," "pathetic," "jerk," "sucks," and "holy wowness."

Consumerism

YouTube, Facebook logos seen/suggested (if they're not exactly the real ones, viewers are meant to think they are).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A rattled pilot drinks at the lodge bar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Smallfoot is a charming animated musical adventure about a group of yetis who prove the existence of humans. Starring the voices of Channing Tatum, Zendaya, Common, James Corden, and more, the movie is age-appropriate for younger viewers but does have a lot of physical/slapstick comedy (including many falls from great heights, all of which are survived) and a couple of cases in which dart guns with sedatives are shot. A plane crashes, and a flashback story shows cruelty/weapons use based on hate and fear. People and yetis also show fear and are pursued -- sometimes with tension/peril and destruction of property -- but no one is seriously hurt. Two characters flirt a little bit, a minor character has a drink at a bar, and there's infrequent use of words like "crap," "stupid," and "sucks." The movie strongly promotes the ideas of appreciating traditions but questioning the status quo, thinking outside the box, staying true to your ideals, and giving those unlike you a chance -- in other words, curiosity, communication, and integrity.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written bySpandangly September 22, 2018

Wonderful Family Discussions

While this isn't a top-tier production (the music is a little weak and the animation isn't the best you've ever seen), it holds it's own wit... Continue reading
Adult Written byPderosier1 October 3, 2018

Faith is bad, rebellion is good

As in many youth films today, Smallfoot works around the very common theme of narrow-minded adults who must be shown the errors of their ways. It broadly depic... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 30, 2018

Good for all ages!

Was very impressed with this movie. It's in no way a masterpiece, but it's a very solid family film. The cast is great, the soundtrack is good, and th... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byjoy_joy October 31, 2018

I LOVED THE MESSAGE!!!!!

I will spoil this movie in some parts because I'm getting my point/message out, so beware. When I watched the trailer for this movie I was like this would... Continue reading

What's the story?

SMALLFOOT is an animated musical adventure that takes place high in the Himalayan mountains, where a community of yetis lives according to rules literally set into ancient stones. Migo (voiced by Channing Tatum) is prepared to follow in his father Dorgle's (Danny DeVito) footsteps as the yeti who hurls himself across a chasm every morning to ring a gong so that the "glowing snail in the sky" can wake up. But then he sees an airplane crash and comes face to face with a creature he thought was purely mythical: a "smallfoot" (human). When Migo tells his village about his discovery, the sage Stonekeeper (Common) insists that Migo is lying and exiles him. Later, Migo teams up with Meechee (Zendaya), the Stonekeeper's skeptical daughter, and a small band of smallfoot believers who also question the stones. Migo goes beneath the clouds that surround the yetis' mountaintop home and finally sees the human village in the valley underneath. There he crosses paths with Percy (James Corden), a wildlife reality show host so desperate for ratings that he's willing to ask his producer to dress up as a yeti for an episode. As Percy and Migo get to know each other (not verbally, because humans hear yeti speech as growling, and yetis hear human speech as gobbledygook), they realize they have more to fear from ignorance than from each other.

Is it any good?

This star-studded animated adventure is a charming mix of positive messages, physical comedy, and a few catchy songs, all of which are sure to please young moviegoers. By switching up the Bigfoot legend to focus on yetis who are skeptical about humans, Smallfoot shows how dangerous it is to ignore reality, even for seemingly well-intentioned reasons. Tatum's voice is enthusiastic and upbeat, and Migo's earnest personality will appeal to both kids and adults. The father-son dynamic between Migo and Dorgle is tender and sweet, and -- although there's a bit of more complex backstory to the yetis' stone-based laws and the history of their community -- most of the plot is straightforward enough for even early elementary-schoolers to follow.

The movie's most entertaining sequences rely on old-school, laugh-out-loud sight gags and jokes. Migo and Percy can't communicate with words, but they grow to see each other not as harmful predators but as partners -- and even protective friends. Several of the songs are cute, but Zendaya's "Wonderful Life" is the most memorable. And Migo and Meechee's romance is sweet without being the central theme of the movie. While this isn't the kind of emotional, adult-skewing animated epic that's going to make grown-ups cry, it's a lot like Trolls: zippy and fun, with great messages.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether any parts of Smallfoot were scary. If so, why? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

  • Why does Brenda tell Percy that he's lost his integrity? What does "integrity" mean? Does Percy turn things around over the course of the movie? How?

  • What does it mean to be curious? Is Meechee curious? How do you know? How did she learn the things that she wanted to know? How do you learn new things?

  • The Stonekeeper argues that there can be such a thing as "good lies." Do you agree? Why or why not? Why is it problematic to push down your questions, as the yetis are often encouraged to do?

Movie details

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