Taking heavy cues from classics such as E.T the Extra-Terrestrial and The Iron Giant, Abominable (the latest from Dreamworks Animation) is about a young girl who decides to help a lost Yeti reunite with its family while also trying to evade a government agency. As you can probably tell, the story is incredibly light and very clichéd, almost to the point where there’s the inclusion of familiar tropes such as the larger-than-life ragtag team of misfits helping out the young heroine on her perilous journey, as well as the young girl still coming to terms with the loss of her father.
This is a bog-standard story that you’ve seen a million times before in various family films over the years, so if you’re going into Abominable expecting something new, fresh or invigorating, then you might as well search elsewhere. Comparing this to recent Dreamworks Animation films, this does pale in comparison when placed next to wondrous gems like the How To Train Your Dragon films, the Kung-Fu Panda films, and the absolutely surprising and phenomenal Captain Underpants. However, this is still a perfectly watchable animated film that feels like the movie equivalent of being wrapped up in a warm, cuddly blanket. It is an adorable film that doesn’t succumb to being just a plain average film, thanks in part to having likable and charming main characters.
The central main trio that help out the Yeti have distinct personalities, managing to be fun characters when they are around and they are amusing enough without becoming annoying, which certainly is a blessing. The other main highlight is the visuals because this is one of the most beautiful, gorgeous, breathtakingly stunning CGI animated films to have been released in 2019. Everything about it from the landscapes of Shanghai or the Himalayas, to the way the Yeti’s nature-controlling powers are realised, to just the sheer size and scope of the whole thing is just astonishing to behold, almost to the point where you kind of wish the story wasn’t just so basic and generic because if an animated film that’s this stunning was saddled with the most ingenious story ever, then this might’ve been a game-changer.
In the end, Abominable is perfectly fine; a film that you could show to the whole family on a Sunday afternoon and it’ll pass the time fine. The animation is mesmerising, the voice cast is solid, the characters are enjoyable and the resolution to it all is uplifting, but it’s a shame that the story feels incredibly clichéd and uninspired. A decent cute flick while it’s there, but not very memorable in the long run.
Dir: Jill Culton
Scr: Jill Culton
Cast: Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin, Michelle Wong
Prd: Suzanne Buirgy
DOP: Robert Edward Crawford
Music: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Country: USA, China
Run time: 97 mins
Abominable is available on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD now.