Directed by: Karey Kirkpatrick
Screenplay: Karey Kirkpatrick and Clare Sera
Screen Story by: John Requa & Glenn Ficarra and Karey Kirkpatrick
Based on the book: Yeti Tracks, by Sergio Pablos
Produced by: Bonne Radford, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Starring: Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common, LeBron James, Danny DeVito, Gina Rodriguez, Yara Shahidi, Ely Henry and Jimmy Tatro.
The only thing stronger than fear is curiosity.
Living above the clouds on the peak of a snowy mountain, a yeti named Migo (Channing Tatum) has been waiting to train to be like his dad and become a head-butting, gong ringer to call the sun-snail to bring the light of the sky every morning.
That’s what the stones say, and the Stonekeeper (Common) is always reminding the yeti tribe that below the clouds is the Big Nothing.
So when Migo is launched in training, only to miss the gong and be flung outside the yeti community, he’s as shocked as the human when he finds a smallfoot, as the smallfoot human is to find a yeti.
Disappearing from view and leaving no trace, his father and the rest of the village can’t believe Migo found a smallfoot. Except the SES (Smallfoot Evidentiary Society).
Meechee (Zendaya) and her SES gang, Kolka (Gina Rodriguez), Gwangi (LeBron James), Fleem (Ely Henry) and Cali believe not just in the smallfoot, but that there’s far more out there then the stones have led them to believe.
On their research expedition into the Big Nothing they find Percy, a smallfoot with a career as a wildlife expert; a celebrity made famous by making a TV series that’s about to be cancelled because of a dwindling audience. Percy will do anything to get his face out there. Including faking a yeti sighting. So, when he actually finds a yeti and the yeti finds a smallfoot, they’re both terrified and fascinated.
There’s this, ‘curiosity killed the yak’ theme versus the search for truth being more important than all else.
Which I felt dangerous for a young audience – to go out there searching for the truth no matter what. I had an understanding for the want to lie to protect… which adds that needed obstacle to overcome in the film, giving the story a bit of grit.
The safety of the yeti and the threat of murder felt a little serious with nutty mountain goats and pink Snuffleupagus look-a-likes needed to soften the vibe of the film.
I just didn’t find the film very funny.
And I think some of the seriousness of the film may have been confronting for a really young audience.
Visually, the artwork and animation was smooth and beautifully put together with realistic fur and chase scenes seen from above like watching a game of Pacman.
But the story didn’t really work for me. It wasn’t until the film got close to the end that I started to appreciate what was trying to be achieved.
Mostly, I felt mildly uncomfortable with too many teachable moments for my taste.
Not bad but not great either.