From the Franco-Belgian producers of House of Magic comes one more, rather splendidly animated, flick for the youngsters. There’s nothing whatsoever demanding on show in The Son Of Bigfoot, but in its own mellow and bluntly wielded way Ben Stassen and Jeremy Degruson’s film offers entertaining fun, moulded around the structures of some very familiar plotting.
Twelve years on from the disappearance of his father – chased off a cliff by men-in-black squaddies and a helicopter – Adam Harrison (Pappy Faulkner) is enjoying a perfectly ordinary, if a little lonely, life with his Mum at the start of the film, and just before things turn distinctly extraordinary. At school he’s bullied by moronic (and very lame) peers and misunderstood by teachers who suspend him because, as the bumptious head declares, ‘a fist can’t punch without a face to receive it’.
As it turns out, getting some time of school proves timely for Adam, whose feet keep on bursting from his feet and birds nest hair, that would put Dennis the Menace to shame, though not quite Pixar’s Merida, grows back overnight, following a complete buzz cut. To add to his remarkable re-pubescence, it’s not long before Adam discovers a mysterious box that will reveal his to be, not only still alive but, the legendary ‘Bigfoot’.
With its soft-pop soundtrack, pleasingly rendered design, and pace content to amble, The Son Of Bigfoot is an easy watch, sitting on just the right side of lightweight to remain engaging. For one, it’s full of sweet touches and charming montages, such as the scene in which Adam is taught how to harness his abilities. Likewise, a Tarzan-mimicking sequence, in which Bigfoot and Little-foot speed through the forest, is too lovely in its visual aesthetic to entirely dismiss, and closes with a – surely international – nod to George of the Jungle. That, one of a handful of solid chuckles; with the rest mostly supplied in the daft introduction to …’s bad guy, who plots to create a saleable hair-growth formula in a building that resembles a cross between the Sidney Opera House and a Mr. Whippy, and a passing jibe at a certain US President: HairCo toupees have been worn in secret by some of the greatest men in history’.
There are issues, of course. A moderately offensive joke about Japanese businessmen with camerasfeels outdated, whilst Adam has a penchant for repeatinga certain word that parents of younger viewers might not appreciate. On the whole, though, here is a film that generally equals the fare its plot matches; Open Seasonand Over theHedge springforemosttomindas the climaxapproaches.
Blow too hard and it might fall overbut those content to just go along for the ride should come away smiling.