Meet Zendaya, star of Smallfoot!
In the new animated lm, Smallfoot, the myth of the yeti – those big furry monsters rumoured to live on the snowy slopes of the world’s tallest mountains – is turned upside down. When a young yeti nds something he thought didn’t exist – a human, news of this “smallfoot” throws the yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out in the big world beyond their snowy village. Starring Channing Tatum as the curious yeti Migo and James Corden as the Smallfoot, the cast are joined by singer and social media star Zendaya as Meechee, the daughter of the village chief, who is intensely curious about the world outside the village. She tells us what it was like to play a big furry yeti.
“Meechee is the daughter of the Stonekeeper, the leader of our yeti village. So basically in this village, you’re not supposed to ask questions or to know anything that isn’t literally written in stone, on these tablets that Meechee’s father takes care of. When Migo says he’s seen something that isn’t on the tablets, the smallfoot, she and her friends go on a mission to the outside world to nd out if the Smallfoot is real.
“When I went into the rst meeting about the lm, they had a mock-up of what my character was going to look like and they did a little test of what my voice would be like with it. She was so cute and adorable, and I loved the storyline, so it felt like a great t for me.
“I think that all the classic animation has a deeper meaning and Smallfoot de nitely has that too. There are so many messages you can leave with – acceptance, love, following your heart. I think not just kids but adults can leave the lm with those feelings: I went to a screening with my little nieces and my parents and they all enjoyed it – they had a great time and everybody left in a really great mood.
“People think that because you don’t have to do all the rest of the things involved with acting, like costumes, make-up or camera set-ups, that doing voice work is easy peasy lemon squeezy, but it’s not. You’d probably be surprised at how di cult it is –it requires a lot of imagination and a lot of energy, because you’re by yourself in a room with a microphone, but you have to imagine that you’re somewhere else and that you’re someone else. You rely a lot on your director to paint the scene for you because you’re gonna have to run with it in your head. It’s de nitely a di erent skill to acting in front of a camera – you have to create that world in your head, imagine what my character is going to look like, where we’re going to be, who I’m going to be talking to.
“But it was awesome to play a fur-covered monster! It was so cool to see your voice coming out of something that’s entirely di erent. Here’s the thing: you see a rough sketch, a gures that just kind of oats there and then you see it at the end with so much detail. It’s so beautiful that you feel you could just reach out and touch it. I have such an immense amount of respect for the animators who actually put it all together.