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John Gillispie: ‘Smallfoot’ brings honesty home

December 20, 2018

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on the animated film “Smallfoot,” which is rated PG and available on DVD.

“Smallfoot” is an animated film about an isolated Yeti community in the Himalayans and what happens when one resident sees a human, who they call Smallfoot.

Migo (Channing Tatum) is an easygoing Yeti whose father (Danny DeVito) has the job of having to ring a gong each morning to cause the sun to rise. Migo plans to take this job over someday, but is having some issues learning how to be catapulted into the gong.

The Yeti community follows a strict set of rules carved on stones and carried by the Stonekeeper (Common), whose daughter Meechee (Zendaya) may not believe all the rules that her father wants everyone to follow.

Meanwhile, a human named Percy (James Corden) is in the region to video a special type of spider and he crosses paths with Migo and their adventures begin. Percy asks a colleague to post video of Migo and that will cause some problems later.

One amusing aspect of this film is that the members of the Yeti community cannot verbally communicate with the humans and vice versa. Humans seem to find Yeti language threatening in the film.

“Smallfoot” is an amusing film with plenty of interesting characters, including Meechee’s friends Gwangi (LeBron James), Kolka (Gina Rodriguez) and Fleem (Ely Henry). Patricia Heaton lends her voice to a Mama Bear disturbed in her cave by Percy and Migo.

To me, the movie takes a serious turn for the final third of the film that I did not see coming. “Smallfoot” wraps things up with a happy ending that seemed a little too simplistic for the complex issues dealt with for the final 30 minutes or so. However, this movie offers lessons about friendship, honesty and trust for parents to discuss with their children.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.

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