Not knowing much about Abominable before heading to the cinema meant I was unsure what to expect. Animated family films are a hit and miss affair, especially those not made by Disney Pixar. So with some trepidation, my family and I sat down to watch Abominable. Some of my trepidation my have stemmed from the fact the cinema was packed with children who’d just been pumped full of sugar by way of snowcones and cupcakes.
Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about. Sure, the children were noisy but Abominable was fantastic. A rare family-friendly animated film with a story to tell that’s both worth telling and well told and with something for kids and adults alike.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried nearly as much as I laughed. Abominable has heart and it’s just lovely.
Abominable is all about family. The family we choose and the one we’re born into and the expectations we place on them and on ourselves. As part of a ‘family’ whether by blood or choice, we all expect certain things and are, in turn, expected to fulfil certain duties.
For Yi (Chloe Bennet), this means taking the trip her father always planned to take her on. Having died sometime before the events of the film, Yi’s father’s presence looms large. He’s the driving force behind Yi’s determination to save enough money to travel and her inspiration when playing her violin.
We’re introduced to Yi as a perpetually busy teenager. Doing odd jobs and barely sitting still for a second. She can’t. If she stops, she’ll have time to think about what she’s lost.
She’s not ready for that. So she pushes herself day after day, working towards her goal but never seeming to get there.
Her mother and Nai Nai chastise her for never being around but she brushes them off, only focused on her goal. That is; until she meets Everest.
Everest is a Yeti, captured by the Burnish corporation to prove to the world that Mr Burnish isn’t crazy and really did encounter a yeti many, many years ago. Yi finds Everest injured and hiding on her rooftop and realises he needs her help. Together, along with her neighbours Peng and Jin, Yi and Everest begin the long journey to the Himalayas.
Everest is easily one of the most endearing movie beasts in a long while. He’s big and bulky, covered in white hair but childlike and gentle. He trusts Yi and her friends implicitly and they trust him too. Having never left their city, this is a journey of discovery for Yi, Peng and Jin as much as it is for Everest.
While being pursued by Burnish, who wants Everest back at all costs, it’s revealed that the Yeti has magical abilities. Using these abilities, the ragtag group is able to make their way against seemingly impossible odds.
In the end, Yi discovers that all the places her dad wanted to take her were the places she ended up travelling to with Everest as she tried to get him home. Through this, she finally has her moment of catharsis and is able to move on and embrace her father’s memory.
Though a story about the importance of family, Abominable is also about facing your fears and never running from your problems. Only by facing them can you really be freed of them.
Of course, all of this will be lost on the kids. For them, Abominable is a cute, exciting and funny movie with bright colours and a loveable monster. It’s a bonus that there’s so much extra for parents to enjoy.
Bring your tissues and get ready for big laughs. Abominable is a wonderful film that’s a no-brainer for families.
Leo Stevenson attended a screening of Abominable as a guest of Universal.