Abominable is cute animated fluff that blindsides the audience with a heartfelt message about staying in touch with the many elements that make our life beautiful.
Taking place across China, a young woman named Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet) keeps busy with odd jobs around her neighbourhood to save up for a trip around the country. Though, her friends and family are kept at a distance by her doing so. Yi’s plans change, however, when she discovers an escaped yeti bunking on the roof of her apartment complex. They quickly form a connection and embark on a journey back to the yeti’s homeland, while a greedy explorer (voiced by Eddie Izzard) and a hired zoologist (voiced by Sarah Paulson) are hot on their trail.
By design, Abominable has notes of Disney’s Big Hero 6 and Pixar’s Up, but quickly shakes off those influences to find its own colourful independence. DreamWorks Animation (along with their Chinese affiliate Pearl Studio) follows up their gorgeous How to Train Your Dragon send-off with a family film that’s just as jaw-droppingly stunning. The story resorts to a lot of “magic” to make these incredible visuals pop. While that may sound like an easy way to make imaginative things happen, the film delivers with results that make us forget our qualms we had with the standard storytelling. Abominable also isn’t afraid to be quirky or strange with its sense of humour. And because the film is so funny, movie goers are able to ride with whatever writer/director Jill Culton pitches. A recurring gag with a “whooping snake” always had me anticipating the reptile’s next random appearance
There’s also potential for a franchise without Abominable coming across as a business decision. The literal quest in the movie is just as much of a personal journey for Yi, who learns that slowing down and accepting people into her life is crucial for finding happiness. Its a message that’s genuine and easy for audiences of all-ages to draw from.
Abominable may be a sweet and adorable adventure, but there’s so much value to discover beneath its wonderful exterior.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie