More
    EntertainmentMoviesREVIEW: Does ‘Smallfoot’ bash religion?

    REVIEW: Does ‘Smallfoot’ bash religion?

    -

    Children’s movies never have been fully innocent, but the past few years have brought us an unusual number of films with questionable plots – especially if you’re a Christian parent.

    The 2016 Disney film Moana had beautiful scenery and catchy tunes to accompany its worldview of polytheism, animism and reincarnation. The 2017 Disney/Pixar movie Coco was entertaining from beginning to end, assuming you could overlook its affirmation of the Day of the Dead and communication with the deceased.

    The movie never says the words “religion” or “God,” but the savvy moviegoer will quickly connect the dots.

    And now we have Smallfoot, which opens this weekend and tells the story of a young yeti (read: abominable snowman) named Migo who lives in a village of other yetis and sets out to prove that “smallfoot” creatures (read: humans) actually exist.

    It’s a Warner Bros. Animation movie that I enjoyed, even if I cannot fully endorse it. Let me explain.

    Migo and his fellow yeti villagers have been told their whole lives that humans don’t exist. They know this because the yeti “Stones” say so. Written on these Stones is the yeti law that explains what’s right and what’s wrong. It tells them how to live and what to do. It even includes the yeti creation story (their world was formed when it fell out of the backside of a sky yak).

    But when Migo (voiced by Channing Tatum) randomly sees and interacts with a smallfoot – it’s a pilot who had parachuted from a crashing plane – no one believes him. And because there’s no evidence (the pilot and plane fell off the mountain), he has no proof.

    “Are you saying a Stone is wrong?” the village leader, the Stonekeeper, asks.

    Because Migo refuses to lie about what he saw – others believe he saw a yak — he gets banished from the village.

    Thus, Migo sets out to prove that humans do exist and that the Stones are wrong. Other yetis support his endeavor. One says to a reluctant Migo: “It’s not just about tearing down old ideas. It’s about finding new ones.” When the Stonekeeper finally admits that the Stone traditions were invented to protect the yetis (it’s too complicated to explain here), he says in a rap, “What’s true and not true is in the eye of the beholder.” Migo says that junking the Stone teachings may be scary “but it’s better than living a lie.”

    The movie never says the words “religion” or “God,” but the savvy moviegoer will quickly connect the dots. The yetis’ beliefs – their religion — was repressive and make-believe. The next generation will fix everything!

    I doubt Smallfoot was intended to have an anti-religion theme. In fact, the movie is being promoted to faith audiences thanks to its other themes: friendship, forgiveness, courage, truth-telling and exploration. Those should be applauded.

    To the filmmakers credit, my 10-year-old son and I laughed throughout the film and walked out entertained. The Stones-religion angle went over his head.

    But the plot may trouble some families. The good news is that Christianity can withstand our tough questions. Unlike the yeti leader, we should encourage our children to ask questions! (My favorite site for answers:GotQuestions.org.) This, of course, is because Christianity is true.

    I can’t recommend Smallfoot. If you go, though, you may want to be prepared to talk about it on the ride home.

    Entertainment rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

    Rated PG for some action, rude humor, and thematic elements. 

    Michael Foust
    Michael Fousthttp://MichaelFoust.com
    Michael Foust is the husband of an amazing wife named Julie and the father of four young children. He has covered the intersection of faith and entertainment for more than a decade. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com

    Latest news

    Free Christian Book Expo in the UK this Nov

    The first ever free Christian book festival in the UK will be held in a Gloucestershire town on November 4 and 5.

    Christianity in Decline in the US, Christians React

    On the study about the future of Christianity in the US, Christian professionals advised fellow believers to be creative in protecting the majority status they enjoy now.

    Franklin Graham Preaches to Over 17,000 in Mongolia

    Evangelist Franklin Graham shared a message of hope to more than 17,000 people in Mongolia on September 10 and 11.

    King Charles Vows to Protect All Faiths

    King Charles III met with 30 faith leaders in Buckingham Palace on September 16 and vowed to protect the multiple faiths in Britain.

    Only a Minority of Pastors Favor 10% Tithe—Barna

    In its latest study, Barna Group found that tithing is not widely understood or practiced in today's church.

    Queen Elizabeth II Dies at 96

    Queen Elizabeth II has died peacefully at Balmoral Castle on September 8, 2022 at aged 96. The Queen was the...

    Must read

    Christians Denounce Greene’s Call for Christian Nationalism

    Thousands of Christians in the US signed a petition denouncing a lawmaker's call for Christian nationalism.

    Christian Groups Condemn Same-Sex Marriage Bill

    More than 80 Christian groups in the US condemned the bill legalizing same-sex marriage. In a letter signed by 83 faith-based groups, it called the Senate to oppose the said bill which they claim is an attack on people of faith.

    You might also likeRELATED
    Recommended to you