It may be a sequel to the 2017 film The Son of Bigfoot, but Stassen and Degruson's latest film behaves like a standalone film in its own right. After his father is finally able to return home, protagonist Adam is confronted by the reality of his family's newfound fame. This action-packed, environmentally friendly family-fuelled film has at its core an adolescent boy who is awkwardly navigating growing up and still reconciling his feelings towards his father - all within the backdrop of a potential environmental disaster.
Both intense and fast-paced, this film sets off with a bang and is fuelled with laughs and a social commentary that is both current and accessible for the young audience it is sure to attract. The Bigfoot family share their home with a multitude of animals who are hilarious and have human habits - the kind of traits that make this film feel like an animation classic. The shining characters, Wilbur the bear and Trapper the racoon, have an almost brotherly dynamic that makes the comedic side of the story shine through. Humour extends even further with certain characters being able to understand them, and others not, which makes interactions with Adam's Mum even funnier.
With Bigfoot's new celebrity status, he strives to become a climate change activist, focusing on the negative impact that drilling for oil has on the environment and surrounding animal habitats. Adam is not impressed with Bigfoot becoming an activist and going to Alaska until he makes his video go viral online. Whilst Adam is reluctant to relinquish his Dad again, he grows to learn (as we all do) the importance of spreading the word about the environmental catastrophe that so-called 'clean oil' company 'X-Trakt Oil' is creating. Bigfoot Family from the offset is reminding us of a very contemporary issue, particularly in the Western world, in advocating for sustainability.
The film attacks Western (specifically American) advertising culture along with 'fake news' which, in a post-Trump world, feels very relevant. It is certainly interesting to have an animation film set in America, but from a perspective that originates from outside of the country. This separation is actually very poignant when considering environmental impact. Yes, this is a kids film - but it has many takeaways for adults watching too. It manages to do all of this amongst a good soundtrack, a quick-witted and suspenseful script, and a clever story.
The film itself is very well produced and it makes a refreshing change to see a European-made animation, as opposed to a Hollywood production. It certainly has the feel of a classic Pixar film, but with more of a social message attached to its storyline. Digitally, the detail to the image is fantastic, with scenes having visual depth and scenes that take place on TV have a different look to them, which is a clever artistic choice. By showcasing more European films, Netflix is highlighting that there is more to animation cinema than Hollywood. Especially when a film is solely released on an online platform.
My only criticism is not to do with the film, but to do with Netflix itself, as some of the closed captioning did not match what was being said on screen. This is perhaps due to the fact that the film is translated and Netflix has possibly not updated the captions to match.
If you are looking for a fun, film to watch with the family, then this is the film for you. Yet, Bigfoot Family also holds an important message. It reminds its familial audience of the power and downfall that technology has and how we all have a responsibility to our home planet.
Watch the trailer for Bigfoot Family here: