There were a lot of things that "Smallfoot" had going for it. A unique concept with some pretty humorous potential, animation from Warner Bros. Animation, a pretty strong cast, and a great writer/director helming it. This movie seemed to be bound to be pretty good, and sadly it ended up just feeling nothing spectacular. Now don't get me wrong. This is not a bad animated movie and it's certainly doesn't reach awful heights, but it just felt so predictable and basic that it just left me disappointed which is really a shame because I really wanted to like this movie. I honestly really did.
High up in the Himalayan mountains resides a secret village of yetis. They follow legends engraved onto stones which foretold that there is nothing below the clouds and that there are no other creatures except for themselves and yaks. One yeti named Migo (Channing Tatum) does follow the legends and like the other yetis, practices their normal traditions. One day though, he comes into a bit of a shock after seeing an airplane crash down and finds a human whom the yetis call "smallfoots". He tries to tell the other Yetis but ends up getting banished from the village by their leader, the Stonekeeper (Common). He does eventually run into a secret group of yetis named Kolka (Gina Rodriguez), Gwangi (LeBron James), Flem (Ely Henry) and the Stonekeeper's daughter Meechee (Zendaya) who believe smallfoots do in fact exist and have been collecting their objects as proof. After venturing below the clouds, Migo then runs into a human named Percy (James Corden), a TV personality who has been trying and save his sinking nature show. What follows from there are lots of shenanigans and crazy moments which is all I'm going to say on the story.
Considering that Karey Kirkpatrick wrote some great animated movies like "Chicken Run", I did go into the film with high hopes, but the film really left me mostly disappointed. I did say that the concept of the film was intriguing, and that is true. The idea of yetis being scared of humans and calling them smallfoots is pretty fun and honestly feels straight out of a Looney Tunes cartoon or from the mind of Chuck Jones. It does have some funny moments including the yetis misinterpreting the human objects and some funny slapstick including a scene with Migo on a rope bridge, but it also has unfunny moments including jokes featuring a screaming goat. Seriously, that joke is old now. Also, the story is predictable at times. It goes through the routes you expect it to go and most of the time doesn't really pull any odd twists or turns. It does do something very new and unique by the end of the movie involving one of the characters, but by then it kinda felt too little, too late. The animation was great though. The snow effects felt very well made and the slapstick was terrific. Then again, nobody does slapstick as well as Warner Bros. Though it did have one problem. The character designs looked like they came straight from "Hotel Transylvania". This shouldn't be a surprise since the company that provided the animation was Sony Pictures Imageworks who also animated the Transylvania flicks, but I feel they could've made the designs feel a little more unique. They just felt really similar to Genndy Tartakovsky's brilliant designs from that film. As for the characters, I like most but not all. The yetis are great. I do like how passionate Migo is, the group that believes in smallfoots is also hilarious and I do love how Meechee isn't all tough and eventually warms up to Migo, but instead is already nice to him from the beginning. Percy, on the other hand, annoyed me. I don't have anything against James Corden and I do feel he can be funny, but he sadly has been put in some annoying animated movie roles which is a shame. There's also one more thing that I have to talk about before I wrap up my review. One thing the trailers didn't tell us about this film is that it is also a musical. Yes, you read that right. It put in some songs into the film, and it didn't work. They were all forgettable except for two. One for the right reasons, and the other for the wrong. The one that did it right was involved a rap song from Common explaining the yetis situation which did have a somewhat memorable hook to it and surprisingly actually tied into the story. I'll admit, that it was really well done. However, the musical number that did it wrong was a scene where Percy is trying to win back his girlfriend and he gets on stage and starts singing random lyrics to the melody of "Under Pressure" by Queen. I wish I was making that up. It left me baffled.
Overall, I thought "Smallfoot" was fine but disappointing. The story had some funny moments but was mainly predictable, the animation was great though designs felt too familiar, most of the characters were pretty good, and most of the musical numbers didn't work. This is a film that I think you should instead wait till it comes out to DVD and just rent it. It could've been so much better, but I'll still take it over the disappointment from last year that was "The Lego Ninjago Movie".