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Smallfoot (Blu-ray Review)

Smallfoot (Blu-ray Review)Smallfoot, which kinda seemed like a smaller movie, actually surprised me when I checked out its Box Office report. It didn’t cross the $100 million mark domestically ($82 million), but did cross it on the global release scale with over $200 million. It opened solid at the end of October neck and neck with Night School and than sorta snuck through the powerhouse October of Venom, Halloween and A Star Is Born as the kids animated movie of choice. It features the powerhouse vocal stylings of Channing Tatum, LeBron James, James Corden and Gina Rodriguez. And hey, smart move here, as Warner Brothers is getting this one out to Blu-ray (No 4K, boo!) before/during the Holiday season. It’ll be out next Tuesday, so go ahead and get the pre-order in for the kiddos to watch now or throw in as a gift from them or your fellow Yeti enthusiast. 

Film 

An animated adventure for all ages, with fun new music by Zendaya & Common and featuring an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti (Channing Tatum) finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human! News of the “smallfoot,” Percy (James Corden), throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village.  This is an epic story about friendship and courage!

Honestly, going in, I was doing this Blu-ray for my kids and thought it’d be a film I struggled to get through. And, to my surprise, Smallfoot wasn’t too bad. I actually found myself with some genuine belly laughs. This is weird to say considering the film is animated, but it features some really good physical comedic. Much of the slapstick utilized in the film felt back to the genuine hey day of cartoons that hold up over time like Looney Tunes.

The animation style of the film is pretty fun and feels like its trying to channel in the Rankin/Bass productions of Holiday programming yesteryear. All of the characters and sets look like figures that were being done with stop-motion animation techniques. And I mean that as the most sincere and genuine compliment for the film. By saying that, the animation looks realistic and lifelike in a way that I sorta know what it could be like right to the touch as if its a fuzzy character or puppet.

A nice cast surrounds the film as well, headlined by a game and fun Channing Tatum. James Corden is all right. Zendaya and Common are terrific when they take the screen. Smallfoot is a musical and the actual actors do sing their songs. Some of it is catchy but most of it will be forgotten by the time the credits begin rolling. They work for the movie though. It does include an easy one with a beat and sample set to Queen & David Bowie’s “Under Pressure”.

Overall, Smallfoot isn’t anything blazing or “of such importance” like a Pixar film, but it sure does know how to have  good time and features some really, surprisingly good classic humor. I didn’t hate it, and my kids were really into and enjoyed it. The message in the film is really wonderful as well. If your kids are going to make you sit through something and you’re hesitant, do not fear with this one, Smallfoot will be all right.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: While Warner Bros will throw every 2D animated DCAU film on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray, Smallfoot does not get said treatment. This standard Blu-ray looks terrific thought. It has really strong work on details with a very crisp and sharp picture. The image is bright and features some strong color saturation and such. This is the best you can ask for when it comes to animated film on the old Blu-ray format.

Depth:  I believe this had a 3D release and it definitely looks plenty three dimensional beyond its natural animation style. Movements are smooth and don’t feature any sort of distortions with rapid movements or anything.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and complimentary with no crushing issues going on. No information is hidden or ever problematic with darkened scenes or surfaces.

Color Reproduction: Colors pop pretty good, like reds, blues and purples. There is some good saturation and the whites are actually pretty impressive with all the tints and appearance.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Brazilian Portuguese

Dynamics: Another headscratcher here as the credits claim this movie was mixed for 7.1 in its theatrical release. Smallfoot is presented in 5.1 on the disc. Which, fine, but still…there’s apparently better lying around somewhere. As is, this is a pretty nice and loud, effective mix with a good balance. Sound effects are plenty well rounded. Its a very free, loose sounding track.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Snow stomping, avalanching, loud pounding and more feel a healthy bump from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: The mix is pretty nice and makes use of its rear speakers to good effectiveness. Motion and volume control are pretty much on point.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and very crisp, with good attention to diction from the actors dialogue.

Extras 

Smallfoot comes with the DVD edition and a digital copy of the film.

Yeti Set Go Sing-Along – You have the option to turn on the Sing-Along version when you hit PLAY.

“Super Soozie” Mini Movie (HD, 2:22) 

Migo in The Secret of the Yeti Stones (HD, 3:43) – This short is mostly storyboard sketches animated that is the opening of the film basically.

Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot – The Making of Smallfoot (HD, 5:58) – A general EPK with cast and crew of the film talking about the movie and craft in very general ways.

Nial Horran “Finally Free” Music Video (HD, 3:26)

Cyn “Moment of Truth” Music Video (HD, 3:58)

“Wonderful Life: In 28 Languages, Sung Around the World” Music Video (HD, 3:11)

Theatrical promos

  • Turn Off Your Cellphone (HD, :36)
  • Artifact #17: The Scroll of Wisdom (HD, :25)
  • Artifact #31: The Smallfoot Cocoon (HD, :30)
  • Migonada (HD, :54)

Summary 

Smallfoot really isn’t half bad, and that’s a nice surprise. I found myself genuinely laughing pretty well at some slapstick bits and line deliveries. The songs work here in the movie, but are pretty forgettable once you’re done with the movie. The film features a rock solid and above average presentation in both audio and video. There are some nice extras here, even if the interview one is just really a bunch of fluff phrases. Pick this one up for a kiddo in your life.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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