Smallfoot’s writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have broken down how they twisted and adapted Sergio Pablos book Yeti Tracks into the Warner Bros Animated film, admitting that doing so finally gave them the chance to make the Yeti movie they’d always wanted.
“Sergio Pablo wrote a book called ‘Yeti Tracks’. It was a different story but the studio liked the colonel of the idea there,” explained Requa.
“Me and Glenn had always talked about doing a Big Foot or Yeti movie. So we thought it would be interesting to flip the whole Big Foot myth on its head.”
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“To have a bunch of Yetis who don't believe that humans are real and have their own mythology about them. So it all came from Sergio’s book.”
But how close is "Smallfoot" to Pablos’ book?
“It gave us the germ of the idea. If I remember correctly it is the story of a Yeti and human that interact and then the Yeti is captured and brought into the real world.”
“They become friends, and he has to free the Yeti from the real world. I think there is a circus involved.”
“But it is almost told all from the human point of view, or a split point of view. It wasn’t the whole idea of flipping it around and telling it from the Yeti point of view.”
Deviating from the source material gave Requa and Ficarra the opportunity to take "Smallfoot" into weird and wonderful places. In fact, because of this freedom, Ficarra admitted that the film quickly became more and more “bonkers.”
“There are versions of this film that are bonkers. In fact, we showed one version of this film to Phil Lord,” who previously wrote and directed "The Lego Movie" and "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs."
“Phil and Chris make crazy movies. And even they were like, ‘This is really crazy.’ And if Phil is saying that then you know you are crazy.”
Lord even had some suggestions of his own for the film.
“That’s where the snail in the sky idea came from,” Requa explained. “Phil originally said it should be a tail with a candle on its back and every night it laid an egg that was a moon.”
“The Yetis would worship the turtle, even though they have no turtles in the Himalayas, so I don’t know where that came from. Everything just became an explainer for everything and it just became really weird.
They then looked to mesh these bizarre ideas with their own and certain elements of Pablos’ book, with Ficarra explaining, “Sergio came up with the idea of the scroll of invisible wisdom, which is toilet paper, an artifact from the human work," before admitting, “We could make a whole other movie on the shtick we came up with.”
“Smallfoot” is now in cinemas.