Movie #288 2020: Abominable (2019)

Last year, I watched the poorly received Smallfoot; an animated funfest about a human meeting a yeti. Though many saw it as flawed, my girlfriend and I absolutely loved it… and then we heard that there was another animated yeti movie coming out. Did we really need two movies about abominable snowmen in the space of twelve months? Probably not. So how did this fair in comparison?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennett voices Yi; a young girl living in central Shanghai. Yi lives a busy life, meaning she rarely gets to spend much time with her family and friends. However, one day, she is on the roof of her apartment building when a monstrous creature appears, and is being hunted down by military helicopters. Yi sees fear in the eyes of the monster, and takes pity on it. Naming him ‘Everest’, after the mountain he yearns to go back to, she and her friends make it their mission to return him to his rightful home safely before the bad guys capture him and use him for their experiments.

All in all, Abominable is possibly the most predictable animated movie I’ve ever seen, but the fact that it is set in China at least gives it a little bit of originality and uniqueness. (Although now that I type this, it’s becoming increasingly more evident that there are quite a few animations set in Eastern Asia at this point!)

All of the animation here is absolutely adorable and well created, but that hair? I’ve never seen hair animated quite so well before. It’s truly remarkable. From the crisp, white mane of Everest himself to the glossy, smooth raven black hair of the protagonist, I could write several paragraphs on the animation of the hair alone, but for the sake of your boredom, please just take my word for it.

It’s fun to see a Dreamworks movie with a female lead character. Other than Trolls (kind of), I can’t think of any others, which is really quite sad. But the characters in this are really likeable and cute, especially Nai Nai, and this very well may be the start of some more female-led movies from the studio.

Clearly, this movie is catering towards smaller children, but there’s something in here for the adults too. Again though, the narrative itself is predictable and could have done with a bit of editing – the film is too long and lags in the mid-section in particular, but the aesthetics are gorgeous enough to keep overall awe at a high.

Honestly – and yes, it bears repeating – there is some glorious animation in this, especially in the landscaping. So tell me, why did they have to spoil my fun by sticking Coldplay’s Fix You in there? It completely took me out of the fantasy and it would have been a perfect place to pop in an original song, so why ruin it?! (I’m still fuming about this, despite having watched it almost two whole months ago now.)

On the whole, Abominable was much better than I thought it would be, even if it’s pretty obvious where it’s going from the get go. A fun and heart-warming tale that is just as fun (and even better looking) than Smallfoot.

Abominable is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
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