The Yetis live on a mountain in the Himalayas. The mountain floats on a sea of clouds, held up on the backs of mountain mammoths. At least that’s what the Stonekeeper (Common) has told everyone. The Stonekeeper wears a vest of stones that have all their rules and laws carved into them. He maintains order and well-being among the Yetis.
Migo (Channing Tatum) is the son of Dorgle (Danny DeVito). Dorgle’s job every morning is to bang the gong that summons the glowing snail to crawl across the sky. If he doesn’t sound the gong, the snail will not know to cross the sky. Migo is set to take over as the banger of the gong. On his test flight to the gong, he misses and ends up on the other side of the mountain. While on the outside, Migo comes face to face with a mythical creature known as a Smallfoot. As he recounts the encounter to his fellow Yeti, the Stonekeeper reminds them the stones say the Smallfoot does not exist.
Refusing to give up his belief in the Smallfoot, Migo is banished from the Yeti village. With the help of the Smallfoot Evidentiary Society, made up of Gwangi (LeBron James), Kolka (Gina Rodriguez), Fleem (Ely Henry), and Meechee (Zendaya), Migo sets out to prove the existence of the Smallfoot and clear his name. Meeting Percy (James Corden), a human looking to regain his former glory filming nature, might be the opportunity he needs.
I wasn’t expecting Smallfoot to be an animated musical, so I was a little surprised when it opened with a song. It works well as a musical, even though it’s not an overwhelming amount of songs. They highlight key moments of the movie. The story itself is an amusing premise. A village of Yetis isolated from the rest of the world, afraid of what is out there. It is reminiscent of Hotel Transylvania in that aspect. In fact, it has a lot in common with Hotel Transylvania. Not only is it essentially the same story, the animation has the same look. Even James Corden’s Percy looks like he could be the brother of Jonathan, HT‘s human who stumbles upon the monsters.
Visually, it is pretty impressive. It isn’t that it is ground-breaking in terms of animation, but it creates an immersive world that is familiar and strange at the same time. While it is being marketed as a 3D experience, spending the extra on a 3D ticket isn’t necessary. The story is entertaining enough and the visuals well-done enough that anything on top of it isn’t needed.
Smallfoot takes an all-star cast, a familiar story, and some catchy musical numbers and turns it into a fun family film that happens to throw in a lesson about being true to yourself. Clocking in at just over an hour and a half, it’s a quick getaway to the theater the whole family will enjoy.