Image Entertainment // 2006 // 74 Minutes // Rated G
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 20th, 2008
Goodness comes in all shapes and sizes.
A single dad (William Hurt, The Incredible Hulk) and his two daughters arrive in the backwoods to discover a family of magical sasquatches. Dad is an engineer assigned to work on a dam and it's his two daughters, full of spunk and wide-eyed imagination (and I do mean wide -- the way these kids are animated their eyeballs are the size of grapefruits), that stumble across the sasquatch family. You know the drill -- the youngest girl sees the creatures first and no one believes her. And then her skeptical older sister sees them, comes to her little sister's defense, and ultimately Dad is approached by the creatures one magical night, given some kind of hallucinogen, and starts seeing moonbeams.
This startling discovery leads to the introduction of the park ranger (John Rhys-Davies, The Chupacabra Terror), a gruff, gentle soul who speaks in impenetrable New Agey nonsense about the magic of following dreams and fulfilling one's destiny. He's been aware of the sasquatch species all his life and, much like that guy from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with the mustache and weird tattoo, his lineage has been charged with protecting an incredible secret. But instead of the Holy Grail, this guy is keeping the prying eyes of the outside world away from a family of giant hairballs that can fly.
Turns out the sasquatch homestead has been suffering from the very dam that Dad was assigned to and, once he realizes the threat, he and his daughters commit themselves to helping the sasquatches relocate. Meanwhile, a hunter is on the prowl to take down the magical creatures for, I assume, a kickass trophy to hang on his game room wall.
And that's pretty much all there is to The Legend of Sasquatch, a semi-sweet, low-budget little CGI family film, laden with themes of wish-fulfillment, ecological high-mindedness, and imagination. No one is going to mix up this effort with a Pixar release any time soon, but in its own way Sasquatch should charm the little ones.
Make no mistake, the target audience is small, small kids who won't notice the entry-level animation or the syrupy story (almost nauseatingly so, but that's my cynical adult persona talking). Grown-ups might be bored by the largely humor-free scripting and simplistic storytelling, but screw them -- there are big, goofy-looking Bigfoot creatures that fly through the air by paddling their feet to look at!
Sure, the sasquatch design looks more like Cousin It on anabolic steroids than the Yeti, but the simple character design aligns appropriately with the rest of the simple creation of this world; although the computer animation looks more like the type you'd find in pre-visualization featurettes for larger-budget CGI films. As for the voice acting, William Hurt may or may not have literally phoned in his lines, but Rhys-Davies gives it a decent go and the ancillary kids voices are suitably cute. The music is quite good too.
The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 surround, both of which perform well and handful of extras including a feature commentary, two behind-the-scenes featurettes (a general making-of and the creation of the music), and a Legend of the Sasquatch quiz.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 74 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated G