Rating3.0 / 5
Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman
Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor
19 September 2019
Not the worst Yeti film released in recent years, but Abominable still falls short.
One evening, Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet) encounters a young Yeti, Everest (Joseph Izzo), who has escaped from a secret science facility and is hiding on her roof. She and her friends embark on an adventure to help Everest return home to his family, undertaking a magical journey across China. With the recent loss of her father, the journey becomes so much more for Yi as she learns to process and embrace her grief.
Abominable is the latest release from DreamWorks and it’s definitely one of their more emotionally charged stories. Yi, her mother and her grandmother are all dealing with the passing of her father in their own way. Her mother attempts to act normal, as if nothing has changed, creating tension between her and her daughter. There is a nice dynamic between Yi, Everest and her two friends that brings some comic relief to an animated film that is dealing with some relatively heavy subject matter.
Similarities could be drawn between Yi and Inside Out’s human lead character Riley. Both girls are going through some major changes and are having to adjust quickly despite not being ready for their respective transitions.
With stunning visuals, Abominable has a similar look to other DreamWorks pictures including Kung Fu Panda and Boss Baby, but it puts its own twist on the style. Whether it be the detailed creation of an entire landscape or a single flower, each scene is a work of art. One of the earliest scenes is quite spectacular, showing Yi playing her violin on the rooftop with the city behind her.
While picturesque, Abominable doesn’t quite have enough punch for it to land with any lasting dramatic or comedic impact. In the future, I hope Dreamworks continues to explore the potential of its animation style. At the same time, the production team really needs to apply the same level of attention to the underlying narrative to create films that are both beautiful and memorable.
Images © Universal Pictures 2019