Dove.org is adding some important perspective to this review. We realize that many movies can be interpreted from a couple different angles, and this movie seems to strike people from amazingly different – and diametrically opposing views! Dove wants to offer a discussion that covers both, as much as possible.
Smallfoot has some overt symbolism that could be seen as ridicule against our biblical history and God’s Ten Commandments and some have even written in to suggest that it’s a debate between Atheists and Believers. We realize this can be a standard interpretation of this story. But we also saw that it could be flipped around, which is what I did when I shared the story with my family.
In Smallfoot, I saw a correlation with this story and our calling as followers of Jesus. Not just the love, sacrifice, generosity and integrity that the Lord desires from us, but also the direct message of “do not be afraid.” Dove invites you to enjoy this movie with a conversation about how – perhaps unintentionally – the filmmakers portrayed Jesus’ teachings. The cast is top drawer, delivering this message through the voices of Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common and Danny DeVito.
We are introduced to the Yeti society with a briefing on their economy of ice, their civilization of cooperation, like a hive of bees working to sustain their village and survive together. We hear the explanation of how the ice is harvested and “fed” to the sky yaks, that hold up their mountain. Or something like that. There are stones, interpreted by the Stone Keeper, on which their laws are written. The whole society is comforted into submission to the laws on the stones because if they don’t, well, there is great fear. This is where some of our readers have found the agitation against the Bible. Naturally, this is a point of discussion. We suggest that it’s interesting to focus on the connection to Jesus’ messages.
Our hero Migo (Channing Tatum) is the town cheerleader, overjoyed to be part of this coordinated brother-and-sisterhood of unity. Through an ironic mishap, Migo encounters a human explorer (of sorts), and the mysterious legend of the Smallfoot is solved! Migo has seen an actual Smallfoot creature, and he can’t wait to tell his whole world. But of course, what he finds is fear-driven rejection, and he must stand up for his truth. Even when he is banished.
The story and poetic song lyrics take us on a marvelous journey; a fresh approach to love, a call for us to all be creatures inspired by curiosity rather than fear. Relationships between parent and child are beautifully crafted with genuine tension and selfless love. This movie could lead us into fun explorations on identity, bravery, and yes, legalism.
As Smallfoot finds himself a visitor to the Yeti village, he dazzles them with crazy stories of life in the human world, and together they bridge language barriers with drawings and smiles. But the supposedly-wise Stone Keeper is driven by his calling to protect the generations, and in his mission, he has closed off his mind; he has become the problem. The Stone Keeper must manipulate Migo, and squash this newfound joy spreading through the village. He must squash this movement because “the only thing stronger than fear is curiosity.”
From there, you must enjoy the ride. Smallfoot is a non-stop delight, and we award it the Dove-Approved Seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take Smallfoot delivers a triumphant adventure and reminds us that curiosity can be the spark to truly love as Jesus taught.