Abominable: An Emotional Journey

Yi (Chloe Bennet, front) and Everest in DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio’s "Abominable," written and directed by Jill Culton.

At one point or another, Abominable is the type of film that is going to come tugging right at your emotions whether you’re yeti or not.

Yi (Chloe Bennet) is a self-proclaimed loner.  She’s been keeping busy and avoiding home as much as possible since the death of her father.  One night, she happens to climb up to the roof to discover a Yeti that escaped the clutches of Burnish (Eddie Izzard) and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson).  Together with Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), they decide to take him back home.  It’s not your average cross-country trip.  Of course, it isn’t every day that you’re bringing a magical Yeti back to Mr. Everest.

We’ve seen a number of additions into the Yeti/Sasquatch Cinematic Universe.  The film does acknowledge that the Yeti are musical.  Everest even compliments Yi’s violin skills at times.  That said, the film even goes a step further than just music by displaying their magical characteristics.  It’s not only a joy to behold but even can take Everest and company out of danger in an instant.  Watching blueberries grow well beyond the size of a watermelon is probably more than just a tad bit preposterous but just go with it.  I guess you can say that it’s cloudy with a chance of blueberries.

Going back to the violin, it’s fascinating to watch Yi and Everest connect over music.  For one, the two both display this sense of being lost.  In Yi’s case, it’s because of her dad’s passing.  For Everest, it’s the fact that he was kidnapped and taken from his family.

Mt. Everest itself may contain some breathtaking sites or views.  For the good of the film, the mountain is saved for the ending climax.  It’s one of those cases where you can’t go too early lest you have a lot of film left.  When utilizing animation, it takes away some of the threats that could possibly come with filming at the actual mountain.  Regardless, there’s very little of the mountain in the film.  It’s all about the friends you make along the way.

Let’s get one thing straight right now: the film’s use of Coldplay’s “Fix You” is emotionally manipulative.  The song comes at a time when the film is practically begging us to get emotional.  I’m not saying you’re going to start crying all of a sudden but how can you not start to feel something?!?  After all, this is a film about going on a journey with friends.  It’s a film about protecting one of the world’s most legendary creatures from dangerous threats!  Yeah, it does play to some of the same beats with character growth but you almost expect this to happen in most films by now.

This isn’t just a film for children as Abominable will also appeal to both parents and young adults.  You never know, tears might come streaming down your face.

CAST:  Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin, Michelle Wong

Universal Pictures opens Abominable in theaters on September 27, 2019. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.