In The Son of Bigfoot, 13-year-old Adam (voice of Pappy Faulkner) is a loner. He gets bullied, and school officials describe him as having ‘mid-level acquaintance deficiency’. Adam also has a certain wildness, and strange things have started happening to him. His feet spontaneously grow, causing his toes to pop out of the ends of his shoes. He has super-hearing. And when his hair is cut, it grows back overnight to be long and unruly in the morning.
Adam’s life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers letters written by his supposedly dead father. It turns out that his father’s death was a lie. Upset and determined to find his father, Adam runs off to the address on the letters. This leads him to a forest. In the forest a near fatal accident results in Adam being rescued by Bigfoot (voice of Christopher L. Parson), who turns out to be Adam’s father. Bigfoot faked his own death to escape the giant corporation HairCo and has been hiding out in the forest ever since.
Reunited, Adam and his father form a relationship, and Adam learns how to use his new powers. Their happy time together turns into a rescue mission when the people at HairCo discover that Bigfoot is still alive. Adam has to team up with some new friends, including animals, to save his father.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
‘Bigfoot’ legends; bullying; genetic experiments; superpowers
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
The Son of Bigfoot contains physical violence, some of which is meant to be funny. But some involves school bullying and harassment, gun-related violence and intimidation. For example:
- A man runs through a forest chased by large dogs, men with tranquiliser rifles and a helicopter. He climbs a perilous cliff face to escape but is shot with a tranquiliser dart. He falls down a waterfall and disappears beneath the water.
- In a slapstick scene, a man is shot in the buttocks with a dart containing hair growth agent. His hair immediately begins to grow and then catches on fire. The man runs around the room and then rolls on the ground in a comical way with his hair in flames.
- Several security guards point tranquiliser rifles at a boy. One guard accidentally fires his rifle, and the dart narrowly misses the boy.
- Three bullies sitting in a school detention room repeatedly throw wads of chewing gum into Adam’s hair. When one of the bullies walks out of the room, he elbows Adam in the back of the head and says threateningly, ‘You’re dead, snitch’. The bully then makes the violent gesture of slicing his hand across his throat.
- A bully throws a basketball into the face of another boy, causing the victim’s nose to swell and go red. The bully then pushes the victim to the ground and verbally abuses him, calling him a ‘freak’.
- Adam kicks another boy several times in the face.
- A security guard uses his fist to punch a hole in a glass door at the front of a house. He breaks into the house and captures a woman inside. A short time later the woman hits the guard over the head with a bottle and escapes.
- A man threatens Bigfoot’s family with violence if Bigfoot won’t cooperate with him.
- In one scene a bear uses a door to knock a security guard unconscious, a raccoon knocks a guard unconscious with a baton, and a squirrel uses a taser to stun a guard. A short time later the bear is shot with tranquiliser darts until it finally collapses unconscious.
- Adam fires a flare gun into a building. This results in a chain reaction that destroys the building in explosion and fire.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, The Son of Bigfoot has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- Adam stumbles down a hillside, steps into a bear trap, falls onto a road and is nearly run over by a car before being rescued.
- A security guard uses a flame-thrower to set a forest on fire. The fire spreads to a car with Adam locked inside. The car fills with smoke, and Adam is trapped and coughing. Bigfoot jumps on top of the car, rips the roof off the car and rescues Adam, but then Bigfoot himself is trapped under a burning tree. They both eventually escape.
- Adam and his father are trapped in a burning building filling with smoke. They escape by sliding down a zip line.
- A bear roars loudly at two hunters, which causes them to faint in fright.
Children in this group might be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Younger children in this group might be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Nothing of concern
The Son of Bigfoot has some sexual references. For example, a scene shows a pregnant raccoon with a big tummy. Characters talk about the suspected sex of the soon-to-be-born racoon babies.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
The Son of Bigfoot shows some use of substances. For example:
- People are shot with tranquiliser darts, which cause them to fall unconscious.
- There are references adrenalin-enhancing superpowers.
Nudity and sexual activity
The Son of Bigfoot shows some mild nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Teenagers and animal characters flirt mildly.
- Bigfoot has a bare hairy chest.
Nothing of concern
The Son of Bigfoot has some coarse language and name-calling that younger children might imitate. There’s also some toilet humour. For example, hunters talk about dousing themselves in bear urine and a woman talks sarcastically about not having a toilet inside and having to urinate outside.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Son of Bigfoot is an animated comedy with a simple storyline and lots of action. It’s pitched to a male tween and teenage audience, although some of its themes are more suited to a slightly older audience.
Because of the movie’s themes, violence and coarse language, it isn’t recommended for children under 11 years.
These are the main messages from this movie:
- Self-acceptance is a difficult and challenging part of growing up.
- Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult and painful.
You could talk with your children about the behaviour of the bullies in the movie, the way that the school deals with this behaviour, and the lack of appropriate consequences.