A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Son of Bigfoot is a European-produced animated adventure that sets up the existence of Bigfoot as a DNA mutation that changes a man into a beast. Bigfoot's son, Adam, has been led to believe his father is dead; when he realizes that's not the case, he runs away from home and hitchhikes to find him. After they're reunited, they fight against an evil pharmaceutical company that plans to extract Bigfoot's DNA for genetic engineering. It's implied that the company unethically tests their products on animals, but the movie never shows animals being treated cruelly -- just a college intern (whose hair catches fire). One scene reinforces stereotypes about hunters, with talking woodland creatures calling them "rednecks" who relish "killing God's most magnificent creatures." Headstrong Adam consistently makes risky decisions that don't result in real-life consequences. There's also bullying, frequent use of guns (dart, flare, or taser), and several cases in which characters fall off the edge of a cliff, potentially to their deaths (though all ultimately survive). Being raised solo by his mother, Adam's life isn't shown as empty or missing something, but one of the story's core messages is that no matter what kind of "beast" a parent may be, a boy needs his father.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE SON OF BIGFOOT, 12-year-old Adam (voiced by Pappy Faulkner) discovers that his late father is actually alive, so he runs away from home to search for him. Adam learns that his father (Chris Parsons) is Bigfoot, who's been hiding in the woods to keep his family safe from HairCo., a pharmaceutical corporation intent on exploiting the Bigfoot DNA to create a hair restoration product. When a Bigfoot sighting is reported, HairCo.'s diabolical leader directs his team of henchmen to stop at nothing to capture Bigfoot and his genetic material. Newly reunited, Adam, his dad, and his dad's forest friends work together to save one another from becoming HairCo. lab specimens.
Is it any good?
This movie doesn't offer much entertainment value to parents, but it will keep younger elementary-age children entertained. In the age of popular TV shows like Monster High and Finding Bigfoot, the film offers a clever conceit to explain Bigfoot and why he's in hiding, as well as what it would mean to be Bigfoot's child. Kids' imaginations will move into gear with this adventure that endows a tween with animal superpowers while putting him in the driver's seat to reunite his family and make them safe. But the story isn't particularly well written, the direction isn't smartly executed, the voice talent is unremarkable, and the computer animation is subpar.
The Son of Bigfoot touches on themes that would be interesting to explore further -- such as how Adam feels about the unusual changes going on in his body or how, the first time an estranged parent and child meet, it's often not an instant connection. And while the movie doesn't lay out a moral, some of the subtle messaging may not be a fit for every family. For instance, it presents macho-leaning opinions such as the declaration that powerful men have hair and that "every real man has a son" (young viewers may not pick up on the comedy surrounding these views). Women are sidelined, and Adam's loving mother (Lindsay Torrance) is largely irrelevant. In every aspect, The Son of Bigfoot isn't a terrible film, just outdated.
Talk to your kids about ...
How does the movie handle bullying? Does it seem like a realistic portrayal?
Why do you think Dr. and Mrs. Harrison decided to tell Adam his father was dead, rather than in hiding? Is there a circumstance in which lying is better than telling the truth?
How would you describe the movie's messages? What is it trying to teach/show kids who watch?
HairCo. uses animals to research their products for human use. Why do some cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries conduct animal testing? Is it always done unethically?
- In theaters: May 4, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: May 1, 2018
- Cast: Pappy Faulkner, Chris Parson, Lindsay Torrance
- Directors: Jeremie Degruson, Ben Stassen
- Studio: Viva Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Wild Animals
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: action/peril, thematic elements and some language
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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