The first major co-production between DreamWorks and China’s Pearl Studio, Abominable, is a charming and adorable tale that holds your interest during its 90-minute runtime. An exceptionally amiable animated tale, written and directed by Jill Culton, Abominable is one kind and gentle hug to mankind.
The film begins with a prison break scene, as where we can see a large creature escaping a lab before reaching a Chinese metropolis. It is not until the creature sees a billboard advertising trips to Mount Everest that we notice that we’re following a yeti.
The Yeti escapes is owned by an eccentric billionaire, Burnish (Eddie Izzard), an adventurer and entrepreneur who wants the big furry beast back to prove that he did see such a creature years before while climbing Mt. Everest. The creature ends up on the rooftop of a young girl named Yi’s apartment building.
Yi (Chloe Bennet) may look like any normal Chinese teen on the streets of Shanghai, but she’s a teen on a mission. The other kids are away for their summer break and having fun, but Yi spends her days working to earn. She does babysitting, takes dogs for walks, dumps trash, and takes any odd job possible. And with the hard earned money, Yi hopes to take a trip across China, which was her late father’s dream. When Yi finds a young Yeti on her apartment building roof, she gets skeptical of the creature, but is won over by the adorable nature of this creature and decides to call it Everest.
The cute furry creature gently manages to reach our hearts with its funny behaviour. Everest can do magical tricks, particularly with nature, where he grows giant blueberries or conjure a speedboat that can sail through miles of flower fields. The beautiful animation makes these acts look exhilarating to behold.
When Burnish’s helicopters hover over the city and his right-hand woman Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) keeps careful watch on every street corner for tghe yeti, Yi suddenly realises that it’s important that she puts aside her own dreams to help this defenseless creature and help get him back home, to Mt. Everest. Because even though he’s huge, this Yeti is just a kid. He’s alone. He’s lost. He’s separated from his family. And Yi knows well, that this human world is a rotten place for any kid to be.
Yi, joined by Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and his basketball-loving little cousin, Peng (Albert Tsai) set off to somehow find a way to—and they do everything they can to help Everest reach his family.
Along the way, Yi comes to realise that the path they’re taking across China is almost exactly the same path that her dad wanted to travel. The adventure helps Yi to not only connect with the memory of her father, but also to find a sense of healing through sharing her own pain and loss with her friends.
The film ultimately manages to subtly highlights the importance of friends and family when it comes to finding a way through deep personal loss and grief. The character sketch is done so precisely that one can easily find a Nai Nai (Tsai Chin), a caring mom, typical social media- obsessed teenagers in real life.
Lastly, there is more to this delightful tale than what meets the eye. Abominable offers an animated exploration of how great loss can tempt a person to bury her feelings. After the death of her dad, Yi has walled herself off from her loved ones. But in her determination to get her new furry pal back to his family, she finds a way back to the important people and things of her life, too.