Karey Kirkpatrick Interview: Smallfoot

Smallfoot is Warner Bros.’ newest animated feature film.  Channing Tatum voices Migo a yeti who wants to prove the existence of the mythological “Smallfoot.”  He meets Percy, voiced by James Corden, a human who wants fame on television. Together, they stir-up the yeti community. Smallfoot hits theaters September 28, 2018.

MODERN FABLES

Karey Kirkpatrick is both the co-writer and co-director of Smallfoot.  “I think animation are our modern-day Aesop’s Fables,” he said. “So, back in the day when fables and myths came about, they were usually to deal with things like the plague or whatever was going on.  So, I’m always interested in what is the allegorical fable that’s being told here and why. You know, how Aesop used an ant and the grasshopper to, you know, you are the earth. Or when they use three little pigs to tell them… your anthropomorphizing an animal to make a human point. And it allows you to do it in a sort of a more subversive, satiric way.”

Kirkpatrick continued, “So, while we were making this, Brexit happened and [the] election happened. There were migrants all over the world.  There were people that were suddenly getting more and more nationalist, more and more isolationist. There were lots of talks about strengthening borders, not between the US and Mexico, just everywhere.”

“And suddenly we realized… and truth was under attack. It just became… certainly phrases like alternative facts were being thrown around.  So, it became an age of misinformation fueled by agendas that are often fueled by fear. And like, ‘I want this result, and so I am skewing the truth.’ That is just in the zeitgeist.”

THE PROCESS

Kirkpatrick:

“So, we come in, and here’s what happens in the process. Is that you’ll do anything to not work [CHUCKLES], which is talking about whatever happened last night or the news you were listening to in the morning.  But it was just like, ‘Hey, we don’t need to look very far to realize what this movement is actually about.’ Which is the importance of truth in the face of fear. And that fear is of the other thing.”

SMALLFOOT

Kirkpatrick:

“And so, in our movie, this mountain that goes up through the clouds, where the cloud is our border wall. And it’s like, ‘We are isolation stuff here.’ And it’s a myth that’s being fueled by our bad guy who’s not really a traditional bad guy.  He’s like, ‘I’m telling lies and I am actually justifying them.’ And said, ‘These are good lies because they protect us.’ And when he shows us that cave wall, I think we look at it and we go, ‘Yeah, that’s how humans will, you know, I can see where humans would react that way.’ But it was important to us to get to the end of the movie and say, ‘Not all of them.’ And the movie is trying to say there are more good ones than bad.”

More: Watch The Smallfoot Official Trailer

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