TL;DR – A truly charming film from start to finish.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There are some pictures during the credits that tell a story.
Films targeted at children often have a perception that they are of lower quality than other forms of cinema. Indeed some of the trailers for upcoming films I watched before this backed that assessment up. But every now and again a film casts off those assertions and shows that if you focus on quality it should not matter whom your target audience is. Well, today we get just such a film, as we explore a monster on the run through China.
So to set the scene, we open in a laboratory in Shanghai scared and alone and not knowing where we are. After hearing Dr Zara’s (Sarah Paulson) intentions for us we flee captivity and that is when you discover the animal fleeing is a yeti. Everest (Joseph Izzo) flees into the city and tries to hide after being hit by a truck only to end up on the roof of Yi’s (Chloe Bennet) apartment complex. Yi is focusing all her life on doing odd jobs so she can earn enough money to go on a tour of China her dad always promised to take her on. But when she finds the injured Everest there is only one thing on her mind, getting him to his home.
from the start, the story does not feel very fresh, indeed ‘a bunch of kids
find a hidden secret and have to hide it from government/evil business goons’
is a film I have seen many times in my life. However, while Abominable might not have an original premise,
it makes up for that with filling every frame with an abundance of charm and
real human connections. At the heart of this is the core three in the cast Yi,
Peng (Albert Tsai), and Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor). They feel like real
people, with real pasts and futures. Like Peng who has bracers, but that is
just part of who he is, in other films that would be his only defining feature
but not here.
The next big draw is Everest himself which shows some wonderful creature design. He is part teddy bear, part dog, part ape, part frog, all fitting within an iconography that feels consistent with yetis. Having a good design is one thing, but what elevates it is the way that they have animated him to bring him to life. For example, he looks like a relatively simple model until you see the detail underneath. Much like this year’s Detective Pikachu, having that fur feel both magical but also real is such a hard balance to pull off. This design is extended into all of the world of Abominable that could have come off as a silly tourism ad for China if not from the absolute craftsmanship on display.
the heart of the film is Yi and her journey as she unknowingly works through
the grief of losing her father. You see this in the bond between her and Everest
as it develops throughout the film. A good visual way the film explores this is
through the magic that Everest interacts with the world. However, the moment
that really broke the heart of this old curcumin was when she played her violin
the one connection left she has with her father. Indeed, the entire musical
score Rupert Gregson-Williams was a pure delight and the moments where Everest
harmonised with Yi’s violin, chef’s kiss.
In the end, do we recommend Abominable? Yes, yes we do. Sure some of the story is predictable and the bad guy will be no great surprise. However, this is a film filled with heart and charm. It is beautiful and funny, and more than that, it shows that you can have a family film all about family and it is still a work of art.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow
Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV,
he’ll be talking about International Relations,
or the Solar System.
Have you watched Abominable?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Abominable
Directed by – Jill Culton
Written by – Jill Culton
Music by – Rupert Gregson-Williams
Cinematography by – Robert Edward Crawford
Edited by – Susan Fitzer
Production/Distribution Companies – Pearl Studio, DreamWorks Animation & Universal.
Starring – Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin, Michelle Wong, Joseph Izzo, Rich Dietl & James Hong
Rating – Australia: G; Canada: PG; Germany: 6; New Zealand: G; United Kingdom: U; United States: PG