I actually didn’t expect this. I mean, I expected Abominable to be adorable and captivating, but I didn’t expect this movie from DreamWorks Animation to have the impact it did on me. Hubby and I had the opportunity to attend an early screening for the Abominable movie before it hit theaters today (September 27th) and I simply don’t know which I did more ~ laugh or cry.
I was invited as media to attend a screening of the film. The opinions expressed are 100% mine and mine alone (well, and Hubby’s). This post does contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure policy for more information.
I hope you’re ready because we are about to embark upon an epic 2000 mile adventure. This is a story that takes us from the streets of Shanghai to the breathtaking Himalayan snowcapes, all courtesy of the co-production team of DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio.
Our journey introduces us to a teenage girl named Yi (Chloe Bennet, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Now, Yi has some “heavy stuff” she’s going through and ends up distancing herself from those who care about her. One of her favorite places to retreat is her rooftop, where she drowns herself in her music. While hiding out on her rooftop one afternoon, she surprisingly finds a young Yeti and determines that it’s her job to to help him find his way back home. With the help of her friends, Jin and Peng (played by Tenzing Norgay Trainor and Albert Tsai, respectively), the crew embarks upon a quest to reunite “Everest” with his family at the highest point on Earth.
Now, no journey is without its challenges. Right? This one is no exception. For one, the trio must stay one step ahead of a wealthy man absolutely caught up in the idea of capturing a Yeti and a red-headed zoologist assisting Mr. Burnish in his endeavor. Will the trio succeed in their plans? If so, how?
The Abominable movie cast
As noted above, Yi is voiced by Chloe Bennet, a Chinese American actress best known for her role in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bennet does a great job convincing the audience she is a teen struggling to process life’s recent events. Her acting partners on the journey, Tenzing Norgay Trainor (Jin) and Albert Tsai (Peng) expertly carry out their roles, keeping the audience in hysterics. While Trainer comedically masters the art of teenage vanity, Tsai entertains by channeling that youthful naivete so prevalent in tweendom.
I absolutely loved Tsai Chin in her as Nai Nai, Yi’s grandmother. She dominates the scene and contributes her own flare of humorous content as as the vertically challenged elder of the family. Michelle Wong, who voices the role of Yi’s mother, offers that parental patience and understanding that almost contradicts, but yet ironically compliments, Nai Nai’s strong character.
Taking on the role of Mr. Burnish is Eddie Izzard. Mr. Burnish is a retired explorer determined to prove his past sightings to the world. Izzard carries the part well and ultimately pulls the audience into his story, both past and present. In the meantime, Sarah Paulsen, who plays the part of Dr. Zara, masterfully draws you in before delivering one of the story-line’s plot twists.
What I loved about the Abominable movie
This is a film that has the potential to captivate its audience from the get-go. The movie opens with action, softens to build the story-line and then continues to engage with twists and turns you don’t always see coming.
Among the things I loved about the film that I feel deserve attention include:
The Setting of the film
I love how Director Jill Coulton thought to take the audience on an adventure across the ocean to experience the beauty and unique qualities of Shanghai, China. From there, she takes us to various locations across the continent in an effort to inspire and connect us with parts of the globe we may have never thought to visit ~ even in our minds. Ultimately, we are led to the Himalayan mountains, where snow can be found year round. Now, while the 2000 mile journey is quite far-fetched for a trio of youth in t-shirts and shorts, it was still fun and enjoyable to see these destinations showcased and highlighted. No doubt it will spark curiosity among those watching.
Use of Modern technology
The story creators did a great job incorporating modern technology into the project. Through the use of cell phones, drones and light shows, we are entertained by the taunts of how dependent we have become upon these various electronic devices and forms of entertainment. From selfies to social media, we find ourselves laughing because no doubt we see a piece of ourselves in these characters and their modern idiosyncrasies.
The transforming power of music
This was a personal favorite of mine simply because I was a music major in college. Music is life, people, and this movie shows how music can transform, generate growth and draw out the best and beautiful in something. Through music, Yi ultimately finds the magic within herself and uses that to shape the situation at hand. Even our dear Yeti friend possesses a little musical talent that magically transforms and connects the world around him.
While not everything may have been spot-on or perfect, I did find the animation depicting the playing of a violin exquisite! It stood out to me profoundly, to be quite honest. From the handling of the bow and placement of the fingers on the fingerboard to the transition from first to third position and natural look to the vibrato, I found myself mesmerized by those scenes. I even began to miss playing the instrument myself.
The scenic animation was also well done, taking us to various landmarks in China and showing why they are highly sought after destinations for travel.
The value placed on friendship and family
Through the meeting of Everest, the trio comes to realize how important the role of friendship is in life. In time, we see a break away from both extremes of introverted tendencies and egocentricism to the willingness of giving up their most materialistic of possessions in order to save the other.
We also see a high emphasis placed on the importance of family. While tragedy can certainly affect us in ways that drive us away from each other, we have to be cautious not to neglect the relationships that truly matter.
Life is short. Time is precious.
Finding where we belong
Ultimately, the movie takes us on a journey that provides a sense of belonging. It’s important for our souls to feel like we’re a part of something ~ no matter how big or small the venture. It’s also important to know we have others who support us in our endeavors one way or the other. These are things that play such an integral role in our overall well being. Yi, Peng, Jin and even Everest had a desire to find their place in some way, shape, form or fashion ~ be it within their family or among their friends. They wanted to feel connected to something and their adventure with Everest provided them that opportunity.
The personal impact the Abominable movie had on me
This may be considered somewhat of a tiny spoiler, but it’s one of those things that truly impacted me during the movie. It’s the part that brought me to tears more than any other aspect of the film.
Yi is struggling to process life without the presence of her father, who is implied to have passed away. She apparently had a very close connection to him and does all she can to keep his memory alive in her life. This is most prominent when she is playing her violin.
I lost my father 20 years ago this past July. While my story is not one where my father taught me much or gave me a lot to treasure, I did feel connected to him and loved him dearly. The scenes that highlight Yi’s relationship with her father and the strong bond they seemed to have had literally caught my emotions off guard. It had me choked up and remembering how precious life really is.
**Second note (totally unexpected): The day I screened this movie, I found out a very dear friend from high school had passed away. It just made those scenes even more pertinent.
What I didn’t like about the film
Make no mistake. This movie was worth the watch and I enjoyed more than I didn’t. However, there is one particular aspect of the film in general that made me wince just a little. For those who are critics, it’s just good for you to know going in so that you aren’t taken back or misled by my appreciation of the film. Now, I willingly admit I’m likely being a little HYPER-critical here. I mean, this IS an animated film and we are talking about a mythical creature. However, I think this could have been adjusted by the the writers or animators during the creative process.
Sadly, it’s hard not to share these without spoiling a few pieces, so I caution you right here. Proceed at your own risk.
Point blank – the story is a little more out there than it should be.
Sure – while we’re talking about the existence of a yeti, that doesn’t mean that the story-line has to be so creatively written and imaginative that it seems exponentially unrealistic at points. Let me explain.
I mean, a 2000 mile adventure for two kids likely all under the age of 20 and one in med school (so barely over the age of 20)? Not to mention they ventured off (without true parental permission) without even an overnight bag?
And what’s up with the giant exploding blueberries and flying weeds? I don’t understand their purpose.
Other than that, I still found myself completely engaged with what was happening on the screen. The points above were not anything that took away from the fact that story itself is quite fun and magnetic. I do honestly believe that you’ll find yourself enjoying the entire movie.
Would I Recommend?
Yes, I would! It’s a charming movie that is visually captivating and intriguing. It’s also extremely entertaining. However, I will throw in a few precautions.
There are some sensitive topics
I mentioned it above. It does touch on the fact that Yi lost her father. Some children who may have gone through something similar may be triggered in some way.
There is a little bullying
Yi is made fun of by a few peers in the beginning of the film. This may be hard to watch for those who have been bullied.
There is intent to harm, or at least sedate.
The younger audience may be slightly disturbed with some of the action that takes place within film. The purpose is to capture the yeti and some of the means used include tranquilizing darts. The violence is not graphic, but the music and scenes do clearly demonstrate the intent.
There is also dialogue that speaks with an intent to “get rid of” the Yi, Jen and Peng.
Deception does play a role in the movie.
I don’t want to give too much away here, but it’s there. Someone does turn the tables and the action does pick up a little at that point.
On a positive note, though…
There is no foul language and there is no questionable content. The movie was designed to entertain the younger audience, so I’m glad they kept it clean. In fact, Everest himself is not scary in the least and the connection between him and Yi is precious, like a child and her puppy. My belief is that you will find it endearing (Hubby thinks so, too ~ look at that! A grown man promoting an animated film!).
Now, I don’t expect it to be a blockbuster. However, I do anticipate that anyone who takes the time to go see this movie will find themselves enjoying it immensely. There are a lot of charming qualities to the film, as well as beautiful scenery. Not to mention, the prevailing message of the importance of family (in its various forms) is compelling and heartwarming.
Abominable is a movie that will pull on heartstrings you didn’t realize needed the tug. I smiled, laughed and teared up throughout the film and was definitely captivated by the way the story played out. No ~ it didn’t have me (as an adult) on the edge of my seat. However, it certainly held my attention and activated my emotions. I think the younger audience will find it quite amusing, as will you from the seat next to them.
As my husband likes to say, “It was emotionally satisfying.”
If “emotionally satisfying” is the kind of movie you like to watch, be sure to follow your heart, discover your magic and find where you belong as you watch DreamWorks’ animated feature, ABOMINABLE:
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Abominable will be released by Universal Pictures worldwide beginning September 27, 2019. In China, the film will be distributed by Pearl.
- Release Date: September 27, 2019, nationwide and REAL-D 3D
- Rated: 3D Comedy-Adventure
- Cast: Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin, Michelle Wong
- Written and Directed by: Jill Culton
- C-Director: Todd Wilderman
- Writers: Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky
- Producers: Suzanne Buirgy, Peilin Chou
- Executive Producers: Tim Johnson, Frank Zhu, Li Ruigang
- Co-Producer: Rebecca Huntley
Follow the movie on:
- Twitter: #AbominableMovie @Dreamworks
- Instagram: @AbominableMovie #AbominableMovie @dreamworks
- Facebook: @AbominableTheMovie @dreamworks
Ratings at the time of this post:
- Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%
- IMDb: 7.4/10
- Metacritic: 61
- Footprints in Pixie Dust: 8/10
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