Almost four years after the release of the very solid animated adventure “Bigfoot Junior”, the sequel is now surprisingly appearing. Not that anyone asked for one. But there BIGFOOT JUNIOR – A CRAZY FAMILY TRIP can increase significantly compared to the first part, we are happy to ignore the fact that nowadays everything, absolutely everything, is continued. More about this in our review.
OT: Bigfoot Family (BEL/FR 2020)
The plot summary
Adam (Lukas Rieger) has long known that his father (Tom Beck) is the legendary Bigfoot. After hiding in a forest for years to escape a company that wanted to use his fur for hair growth products, he now lives with his wife and son – as well as numerous animals – in a pretty house on the outskirts of town. But since the Bigfoot dad decided to step out of the shadows of anonymity and into the public eye, he is hardly accessible to his offspring anymore. Adam feels neglected by his dad, but he has big plans: On his own, he wants to take down a criminal oil company that is threatening to destroy an entire forest area with its oil. Adam, determined to help his father and perhaps get closer to him again, packs the raccoon and brown bear into a van and drives after him with his mom. This adventure takes a whole family!
Some sequels are obvious, others less so. We wouldn’t have initially expected a sequel to “Bigfoot Junior”, a Belgian-French co-production from 2017, to be on the production company’s to-do list. But the very solidly told and animated “son is looking for a lost father” plot from the predecessor, at the end of which a pubescent boy learned that his body was going crazy mainly because he was the son of the legendary Bigfoot, also proved to be suitable for the European one Production studio nWave is surprisingly profitable. And since Jeremy Degruson and Ben Stassen are very attached to their story and they also had enough material (and landscapes worthy of animation) up their sleeves for a second part, “Bigfoot Junior – A Crazy Family Trip” is now in the starting blocks. And in fact, you can see the passion of the creators for the project so clearly that this enthusiasm is also transferred to the audience.
Adam (voiced in English by Lukas Rieger) has a best friend: a bear that talks – at least to him.
In the original, “Bigfoot Jr.” goes by the title “Bigfoot Family.” And that’s much better, because in the “Bigfoot Jr.” sequel the focus is really on the entire human-Bigfoot clan around Adam and his dad. The two directors and Ben Stassen, who was responsible for the script, describe the chemistry within the family as very loving, but not completely problem-free. The fact that the father has no time for his son and instead prefers to go from talk show to talk show in order to be groped by pushy presenters really eats away at the family’s sense of togetherness. In this respect, the adventure plot itself is a little predictable – in times of need, father, mother and son suddenly grow very close together again. This is disaster film custom.
“The two directors and Ben Stassen, who was responsible for the script, describe the chemistry within the family as very loving, but not completely problem-free.”
Nevertheless, the adventure part in particular can thrill both young and old viewers. On the one hand, because of the amusing constellation of characters made up of people and animals that Adam can talk to (the cheeky raccoon in particular turns out to be a huge scene stealer!). On the other hand, because between slapstick and fast-paced action, the creatives have a lot of interesting things to say about nature and environmental protection. After “Bigfoot Jr. 2,” even very young audiences are likely to be sensitized to the dangers of oil and the like. And the puberty parable in the first part? This can still be seen in parts in the sequel. Except that Adam has long since made friends with his Bigfoot abilities (he is extraordinarily fast, has oversized feet and can speak to animals in human language) and first love is on the agenda instead.
A cheeky raccoon as a pancake baker – and scene stealer!
Conclusion: A real surprise: While “Bigfoot Junior” was already a solid animated adventure with a nice puberty parable, the equally fast-paced and amusing sequel leaves a real impression, is fun and is even really educational.
“Bigfoot Junior” can be seen in USA cinemas from August 26, 2021.