Smallfoot (2018) Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –

Phil Lord & Christopher Miller have had a hand in many of the beautiful entertainments we’ve enjoyed the last few years.

Well, almost on two fronts on this one.

One thing they’ve done a bit under the radar is continue overseeing as producers the quirky, charming animation style they established on their directorial debut, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  Between the sequel, Storks, and now Smallfoot, it’s a house style I’ll keep coming back for.

Smallfoot stars Channing Tatum as a Yeti living in an insular society where everyone does their part and nobody asks questions.  One day, though, he finds a “smallfoot”, and gets banished for telling his fellow Yeti about this orthodoxy-challenging experience.  Along with a quirky band of free-thinking yeti, he sets out to find out whether there are more smallfeet below the clouds.

A Toast

As you can tell from that description, this movie is somewhat adult in its plotting, for good and ill.  The film is essentially a parable about the perils of blind belief and after starting out as a Philip Pullman wet dream.

Finally, somebody nails “atheism for children in the snow”!

It does complicate that initial reading later when Tatum’s yeti discovers why the Common-voiced leader of his community and all the leaders before him chose to discourage curiosity and questioning to the extent they do, and God knows our society could use a bit more free-thinking and a bit less ‘believe whatever I see on Facebook/Twitter/wherever Alex Jones is left purveying his nonsense these days’.

In less weighty matters, the anarchic jokes and character movements of that Lord & Miller style continue with this film, if not quite as beautifully anarchic as Storks.

Beer Two

Once we get into the third act the allegory stretches a bit thin and arguably snaps right around the point the Yeti’s sacred text is used as projectile weaponry.

For a movie about questioning institutions, it’s also a bit curious that the human world beneath the Yeti’s mountain appears to be a version of Chinese Tibet that has been completely culturally assimilated.  Maybe setting it in the Nepalese side of the Himalayas would’ve been a tad more neutral than this kind of pandering?

Say what you will about this movie, but it doesn’t even get made today.

Beer Three

This film is also billed as a musical, and as such things go, the music isn’t terrible.  However, the vocal mix certainly is- outside of Common’s well-enunciated Hamilton-style expository rap scene, it’s virtually impossible to tell what any of the lyrics are.  Very odd choice.


Smallfoot is a pleasant, often amusing animated tale with a surprisingly adult message about thinking for yourself.

Smallfoot (2018) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: very time a human squeaks

Take a Drink: whenever the goat shows up

Take a Drink: whenever a should-be fatal fall happens

Take a Drink: whenever a character whips out a smartphone

Do a Shot: for very song

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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