Small Foot, Big ... Lesson
Animated movies have been teaching kids lessons of friendship, courage and how to follow your dreams ever since Cinderella went to the ball against evil stepmother’s wishes. Disobedient? Maybe. Necessary? 100 percent if she was ever going to meet the man of her dreams — maybe not a good lesson on patriarchal dependency, but that’s beside the point.
Now, animators create stories that convey concepts like equality, discrimination and overcoming stereotypes in simplified, relatable ways catering to the Disney kids that have grown up along with their younger audiences. These culturally-driven messages are subtle yet consistent in animated films and “Small Foot” is no exception.
The opening song explains the culture of a small tribe of yetis living their best, if not strange, lives on an isolated mountaintop. Their “law” is literally written on stones (hmmm … sounds familiar) that make up a robe worn by the “Stonekeeper.” If anyone questions the stones, they’re cast out of the village. DANG, that’s harsh. But you can start to see a parallel with the movie and how society AND religion treat those who don’t conform perfectly to their standards.
With a creative twist on the classic yeti/human relationship, Channing Tatum’s character, Migo, claims he saw a “small foot” — A.K.A. a human — which according to law and legend is not supposed to exist. Migo and his group of conspiracy theorist friends set out on a journey to bring back a small foot — ALIVE — and clear his good name, learning other important truths along the way. Full disclosure, it is a KIDS movie, but there’s something in it for everyone, just make sure you have your inner child along when you watch it.
“Small Foot” uses incredible animation and famous voices including Channing Tatum, Zendaya, James Corden, Lebron James, Common and Gina Rodriguez to make the story come alive and drive home the message of not being afraid to ask questions. Be curious and decide for yourself what you believe in — and once you do, “stay woke” and stand firm in those beliefs, even if that means you’re standing alone. Overall, “Small Foot” taught me that ignorance may be blissFUL, but ignorance is JUST ignorance and can’t be a way of life.
-Your Friendly Neighborhood Movie Guy
Disclaimer: This movie IS a musical and during Zendaya’s song, you’re NOT high. I think they just ran out of things to do on that tiny mountaintop so they took a psychedelic turn, ending up in … space? Just roll with it.
Nicholas Morrison is a senior studying graphic design.