Review: Bigfoot Family (2020)

Bigfoot Family (2020)

Directed by: Jeremy Degruson, Ben Stassen | 88 minutes | animation, family | Dutch voice cast: Buddy Vedder, Freek Vonk, Kim-Lian van der Meij, Dennis Weening | Original voice cast: Kylian Trouillard, Alexis Victor, Marie Chevalot, Frederic Souterelle, Sébastien Desjours, Pierre Tessier, Xavier Fagnon, Clara Quilichini

Being famous isn’t everything, Bigfoot discovers that in the charming animated film ‘Bigfoot Family’ (2020). In this sequel to 2017’s ‘Bigfoot Junior/The Son of Bigfoot’, the famous wild man joins talk shows and everyone wants his autograph. While all that attention is of course flattering, the new superhero status puts a lot of pressure on his newfound role as a family man. But what if you use your celebrity in a positive way, for example by drawing attention to the climate problem? You can do quite a bit with that. At least that’s what Bigfoot thinks. And he is right. Because that is exactly what ‘Bigfoot Family’ does: draw attention to environmental disasters in an accessible way. At the same time, the still fledgling relationship between father and son is central. In the first film, teenage Adam discovers that, contrary to what he has always believed, his father is still alive and that he is none other than… Bigfoot. As if that wasn’t fierce enough, he also had to free it from the hands of a megalomaniac manufacturer of hair growth products. That’s an exciting start to a father-son relationship to say the least. Where Adam had hoped to finally get to know each other better, and thus grow closer to each other, in this second film he also has to set up a rescue mission for his father.

It is not easy for Adam; he used to be the piss pole of the class, now everyone suddenly wants something from him because the famous Bigfoot turns out to be his father. He can’t even relax at home. It’s teeming with animal housemates, the most prominent of the bunch being the large brown bear Wilbur and a raccoon named Trapper. Something special is going on with these animals; they can communicate, although not every human character understands them. And the situations that arise as a result provide nice comic moments. Anyway, Bigfoot sees himself in his brand new superhero/activist status as the savior of the world and decides to travel to Alaska to raise awareness about the climate. In particular, he has targeted oil companies whose drilling activities have a negative impact on the flora and fauna. He gets into a fight with the boss of one such oil company, X-tract, who claims to produce ‘clean oil’ but in the meantime is creating a terrible environmental disaster. When Bigfoot suddenly disappears during his mission in Alaska, all alarm bells ring for Adam. Together with his mother, Wilbur and Trapper, he rushes to the remote area to save his father.

‘Bigfoot Family’ is a production of nWave Pictures, the 3D animation studio of the Belgian Ben Stassen. He also directs the film and, as with the first part, he is now assisted by Jeremy Degruson. Visually, the film is excellently done and the Belgians can certainly compete with the much larger American animation studios. The subtle, heartwarming emotions that Pixar manages to capture in (most of) its films are missing here, but the viewer is served with a good and pleasant portion of humor, which will not only appeal to the youthful target group but also the watching parents. can charm. Climate issues are of course very topical and urgent and screenwriters Bob Barlen and Cal Brunker know how to incorporate all kinds of witticisms into current events. For example, ‘clean oil’ is of course a big nod to Trump’s ‘clean oil’, the phenomenon of ‘fake news’ is cited and Bigfoot goes ‘viral’ with his climate films. A lack of urgency and topicality can certainly not be blamed on ‘Bigfoot Family’ and that will certainly appeal to the youth. The fact that the film, especially in the second half, falls back on the familiar (beaten) paths and wants to quickly reach home with long strokes (read: action scene after action scene), is a small blemish on an otherwise fine and entertaining animation film with a vital message. , lots of funny moments and the heart is in the right place.

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