The Son of Bigfoot, like father like son
by Aurore Engelen
- With The Son of Bigfoot, his 6th 3D feature film (co-directed by Jérémie Degruson), Ben Stassen brings us an animated film for everyone, with its sights set on the top of the box-office charts
The Son of Bigfoot [+see also:
interview: Ben Stassen
film profile], the 6th feature film by Belgian director Ben Stassen, a global pioneer in 3D animated film, has come to play in the backyard of big international productions, European and American alike. By seizing upon a resolutely North American legend – the legendary creature known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch -, the director has set his sights on American viewers, and many more of course. In just a few years, 3D animation has changed hugely. Specialised in this genre since the release of the first European 3D animated film, Fly Me to the Moon [+see also:
film profile] in 2008, which was also by Ben Stassen, nWave has some real expertise in this area. And while 3D films have hit the big screen since, making the most of the new narrative devices made possible by this format more or less (usually less) seamlessly, The Son of Bigfoot leads the way when it comes to incorporating 3D into a story in which the latter is rather than simply portrays the action. It’s rare enough to be a noteworthy feat.
But what is The Son of Bigfoot about? The film takes us into the American suburbs, a typical high school in which a young boy, who’s rather shy and the kind of boy who allows himself to be bullied, finds out that he has some strange abilities following one brawl too many. He soon understands, when he unintentionally discovers a family secret, that his father, who he thought was dead, is perhaps not actually dead at all. He decides to set off in search of him, and quickly finds out that his father is none other than the legendary Bigfoot, who has been hiding out in the forest for years to protect his nearest and dearest, as well as himself, from HairCo., a dangerous organisation looking to carry out scientific experiments on his exceptional DNA. When father and son make up for lost time and embark on an extraordinary adventure in the forest, Adam discovers that he’s also gifted with supernatural powers beyond his wildest dreams. But what they don’t know is that HairCo is hot on their tail, and willing to do anything to get their hands on Bigfoot…
Just this once, Bigfoot brings us a story about… male vanity! HairCo sells the dream to balding men in the form of toupees and other hairpieces, but its ultimate goal is to isolate the gene for eternal capillarity. What follows is highlights and men of all kinds, obsessed by their appearance and how effective their Brylcreem is. Moreover, after exploring space and then the depths of the ocean, here Ben Stassen plunges straight to the heart of a dense and lush forest, brought to life by 3D effects which subtly marry together all the vegetation in the shot. The director is clearly aiming for an enlarged family audience here, more younger audience members, but pre-teens too, whilst making sure that he also sucks the parents in, a well-known recipe in animated film from the last 20 years. The torments of adolescence, the satire of narcissistic delirium pushed to the extreme, the talking animals and the original resolutely pop soundtrack by the group Puggy, which is very well-known in French-speaking Belgium, should hit home with a range of different audiences.
The Son of Bigfoot was produced by nWave in Belgium, in co-production with StudioCanal. The ultimate partnership between two companies, announced last June, which has allowed them to bring us Sammy’s Adventures: The Secret Passage [+see also:
film profile] (2010), The House of Magic [+see also:
film profile] (2013) and, more recently, Crusoe [+see also:
film profile] (2016). The Son of Bigfoot will be released over the summer all over Europe. Ben Stassen and nWave Pictures are already working on their next film, The Queen’s Corgis, which follows the adventures of the Queen of England’s little dogs.
(Translated from French)
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