Here come the friendly Yetis!
Why you shouldn't miss Smallfoot, out now in the UAE
I still remember exactly how I felt while watching Inside Out - a sensitive, brilliant Disney animation from 2015 that delved into the functioning of the human mind by introducing emotions and memories as characters, and sent out a powerful message about both. By turns, it gave me goosebumps, made me sad, made me laugh, and made me reflect. A few tears popped out when 11-year-old Riley's (the main character) former imaginary friend Bing Bong, a sweet elephant-like creature made out of cotton candy, makes a heartbreaking exit by sacrificing himself to save Joy, one of Riley's five core emotions, the others being Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear. Last Sunday, after attending the premiere of Smallfoot, I experienced feelings similar to what I had with Inside Out. Though decidedly a breezier, more light-hearted cinematic offering than its predecessor, Smallfoot is no less powerful in the message it sends out to viewers.
What are your thoughts on a Yeti? Could you ever grow to like one? Before watching Smallfoot, my idea of a Yeti was limited to the encyclopedic definition of it being a mythical creature also known as 'the abominable snowman' that is rumoured to inhabit the Himalayan areas of Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. And even though it's a myth, human nature suggests that this is someone or something to be afraid of. So imagine my surprise when a creature traditionally depicted as dark and forbidding is turned into a cheery, cute, and chatty animation called Migo (voiced by Channing Tatum). The fun doesn't stop here because it's not just one Yeti you'll encounter in Smallfoot - you can look forward to a whole snowy village of them!
The Yetis in Smallfoot live a largely carefree existence, their lives governed by laws inscribed on a set of stones. Don't question the stones, they're told. But what happens when they do, when Migo encounters someone - a 'smallfoot' - who according to their stones shouldn't exist?
There are plenty of laughs in this delightful film, but what resonates most is the idea that just because people (or creatures) are different from each other doesn't mean they can't communicate or be friends. Themes of acceptance and broad-mindedness are explored in Smallfoot and in the exuberant tune Wonderful Life, Zendaya (who voices Meechee in the film), couldn't have put it better when she sings the line 'look around, there's more to life than meets the eye.' Don't miss Smallfoot, playing now in the UAE, and if by chance you haven't seen Inside Out yet, do put that on your must-watch list too. Films like these stay with you for life.