Posted by Alexis Lebrun June 16, 2021
Full of action, visually successful and carrying a much needed ecological message, this Franco-Belgian animated film is intelligent family entertainment that will delight children.
In BIGFOOT FAMILY (Ben Stassen and Jérémie Degruson, 2020), the most famous of the hairy creatures is a doctor and a good father who shares his home with a whole menagerie, his wife Shelly and their son Adam, also endowed with superpowers. . But despite living in a typical American suburban lodge, Bigfoot cannot escape fame, a burden that also weighs on the rest of his family. While he is inundated with requests for partnerships to monetize his notoriety, he only dreams of putting it at the service of a cause that is worth it. This is good, there is no shortage of battles to be fought, and Bigfoot decides to come to the aid of environmental activists who are fighting in Alaska against the drilling of an oil company supposedly “green”, but which is actually destroying the environment for them. needs of his business.
Bigfoot travels there and manages to draw the general public’s attention to the destruction of Alaska’s ecosystem, but his sudden disappearance forces the rest of his family – bear and raccoon included – to join him there in motorhome to find his trail and reveal the sad reality behind the greenwashing bludgeoned in the media by the oil company. If the latter will stop at nothing to extract its black gold and therefore scrupulously protect access to the site, the Bigfoot family also has resources. Together, armed with an almost foolproof courage and solidarity and a few very practical powers, its members embark on the adventure.
The sequel to a successful animated film
In 2017, the Belgian animated film specialist Ben Stassen introduced the characters of BIGFOOT FAMILY in BIGFOOT JUNIOR, an animated film also co-directed with Jérémie Degruson, and in which the character of Adam discovered the origin of his powers. and the secret identity of his father, who has been missing for more than ten years. The young teenager was already going on an adventure in the forest to save Bigfoot from the clutches of an evil society, and at the same time learning to master his extraordinary abilities, in the company of blundering animals with whom he is able to communicate. . Technically very developed and endowed with a good-natured humor aimed at the youngest, the film had seduced internationally, and its sequel takes up the recipe for this success. She impresses in particular by the beautiful rendering of the vast landscapes of Alaska, and by the work done on the textures of animal hair and fluids.
Always well accompanied by the music of the Belgian group Puggy, the action sequences are numerous and sometimes quite eye-catching, but BIGFOOT FAMILY especially seduces with its touching message in favor of the preservation of ecosystems, denouncing the hypocrisy of the multinationals of fossil fuels that claim to produce green energy. The film by Ben Stassen and Jérémie Degruson also appeals to young and old spectators on other very topical themes, such as the ravages of fake news, the independence of the media from advertisers, and the place taken by smartphones, social networks and YouTube in the mobilization of young citizens. The very famous Annecy international animated film festival was not mistaken and also selected the film in competition last year. BIGFOOT FAMILY even experienced the Streisand effect, as a Canadian lobby that defends fossil fuels boosted the film’s popularity on Netflix in the United States by attacking its environmentalist storyline.
The myth of Bigfoot, timeless in the cinema
BIGFOOT FAMILY is not the only very recent film to be based on the legend of the famous hairy creature. In 2019, MISSING LINK (Chris Butler) indeed won the Golden Globe for best animated film in front of fierce competition, a performance all the more notable as it is a stop-motion feature film. , a technique today not really at the party vis-a-vis the animation in synthetic images. If studio feature Laika flopped at the box office and lost to TOY STORY 4 (Josh Cooley, 2019) for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, it’s one of the best productions. inspired by the Bigfoot myth, thanks to the irreproachable quality of the dubbing (Eric Judor and Thierry Lhermitte in French) and the animation frame by frame.
In the children’s film category, hard not to mention the 80’s classic BIGFOOT AND THE HENDERSONS (William Dear, 1987), a box office success starring the late Kevin Peter Hall as Bigfoot, aided by a make-up awarded at the Oscars in 1988. If the film may seem quite kitsch today, it has the merit of staging John Lithgow for once in a nice role, and of advocating a message of openness and acceptance of differences . A point he shares with BIGFOOT FAMILY.