Jack Bottomley, Media Correspondent

Review: Abominable

At this time of year, it is quite common to find a bunch of films making their way to cinemas that you were unaware of, outside of the big, hyped or acclaimed releases. Sometimes they are fillers attempting to grab a slice of box office pie not currently being devoured by the likes of Joker, others are big studio backed movies that somewhere along the line have been a victim of lost executive faith or they are sometimes films that end up as cracking little offerings with a great story to tell. Dreamwork’s Animation and Pearl Studio’s Abominable is most certainly one of the latter.

Focusing on Shanghai teen Yi (Chloe Bennet), the film sees her embark on an unexpected journey when she finds an escaped young Yeti seeking refuge on her roof and decides that the youngster needs help. Accompanying her on her quest are vain schoolmate Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and excitable kid Peng (Albert Tsai), as they all seek to get this lost yeti back home. Easier said than done, as a nefarious corporation is seeking down their mythical find and will do anything to get back what they think is theirs.

At first glance this seems like a similarly snowy adventure in the same fuzzy ballpark as last year’s charming October released Warner Brothers animation Smallfoot but Abominable is a far more soulful piece of work. Director/Writer Jill Culton knows when to bring out the fun (the whooping snakes are a joy) and when to melt the heart, with a tale that has much to say about the rich culture in which it is set, protecting the wonder of our world and coping with grief to carry on living.

Children and adults alike will take much away from this flick, which consoles and entertains in equal measure. The visuals are burstingly colourful and matched by the film’s great big vibrant heart and it makes for a really quite lovely warm watch as the chill of winter looms on the horizon. You may know where the film is taking you in a narrative sense but it is still a rather sweet profound journey getting there and the characters and cast behind them are great company.

Bennet’s Yi reminds to some extent of Kubo in Laika’s 2016 masterpiece Kubo and the Two Strings, with her musical passions and triumphant overcoming of personal tragedy. While the initially selfie-obsessed trendy kid about school Jin comes to show himself to be more and young Peng is so infectiously fun.

While Dreamworks and Pearl really create an awesome central figure in “Everest”, the Yeti who is an almost magical being of innocent joy that is perfectly reflective of the beauty of our natural world. While there are some twists in how the film presents its villain and some good vocal work by the always great stars Eddie Izzard and Sarah Paulson.

Abominable is an ice blast of animated entertainment that may journey towards a cold destination onscreen but as a movie itself is anything but cold, it’s a joyous offering with many important things to say.

A comforting hug of a movie!

Director: Jill Culton
Starring: Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson
Release Date: Out Now