Published On: Sun, Sep 22nd, 2019

‘Abominable’ Movie Review: Families get life lessons from a Yeti

While Abominable is the third Yeti film for kids after Smallfoot and Missing Link, DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio’s co-production takes audiences on an epic adventure, amusing the young target audience, but also finds an inspired connection to the adults in the crowd.

Abominable was written and directed by Jill Culton (Open Season, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 2) and centers around Yi, voiced by Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Chloe Bennet, who finds a young Yeti hiding on the roof of her apartment building after escaping a scientific research facility. She nicknames him “Everest” after discerning that is his home and embarks on the quest to reunite him with his family.

Her friend Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor), a cell phone obsessed, self-indulgent peer of Yi, and his basketball fanatic little brother Peng (Albert Tsai) join in on the adventure and quickly witness the creature’s magical powers and connection to mother nature, while staying one step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest get home.

Everest clearly parallels the Toothless in the How to Train Your Dragon series, with emotional giant eyes, a long, drooling tongue and an animal like bond with his human comrades. What Culton successfully accomplishes in Abominable is reaching beyond the juvenile gags, such as the antics and frolicking between the beast and Peng, to connect to parents to the emotional struggles of their children.

While Yi is still grieving the loss of her father, she lives out a practical life: working to earn money for the dream adventure and secretly clinging to her skill as violinist. Jin mourns the stains on his expensive sneakers and his cell phone’s loss of charge, before overcoming failure, repeatedly, to test his inner character…to really test his mettle and grow up.

Culton saves emotional pivotal moments for Yi on her violin and Everest connecting the audience to a visual action sequences: the group racing away from giant edible berries or floating across a sea of canola flowers rising up in a golden tidal wave.

Sure Abominable moves through the cliches of “evil corporate boss,” a corrupt scientific program, and even some environmentalist tropes, but the film provides healthy exit points for the audience to springboard in and out of messages that matter.

Moreover, Abominable never gets preachy or bothers to lecture the families about their own issues or prejudices, as we see in Smallfoot, but lets the character illustrate their solutions to their problems.

Some critics appear to miss why Abominable works as more than a road trip movie making 5-year-olds laugh at gags from the trailers. An argument can be made that Coldplay’s “Fix You” is too heavy-handed of a song choice for the climactic moments late in the film, but sometimes parents need low-hanging fruit to connect with kids.

In my opinon, Culton choosing a song parents and kids alike know and love is actually quite brilliant.

Abominable works and entertains, something that Pixar has been capitalizing on for years. The film earns a strong 7 stars out of 10 stars.

As a critic that’s where the analysis should stop, but as a father and husband, it’s more genuine to reach a bit higher due to the failures of those aforementioned films.

Smallfoot was lecturing and agenda driven and Missing Link just wasn’t entertaining for kids. While Everest could have been some other creature, it makes for a Yeti movie that kids and their parents deserve.

Abominable gets an 8 out of 10 stars.

Universal Pictures will release DreamWorks’ ABOMINABLE nationwide in theaters and REAL-D 3-D Friday, September 27, 2019.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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