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‘Abominable’ Offers Lo-Fi Fun, Adventure for All Ages

abominable review

There’s nothing wrong with simplicity, especially when it comes to kid-friendly films.

Our “more is MORE!” culture turns charming tales into aggressively animated romps. They’re too busy, too cluttered, too eager to impress. And, conversely, they often leave us exhausted.

It’s why “Abominable” feels like a big, retro hug.

The tale of a Yeti and his human pals follows a clear narrative, the kind young and old can follow sans Google map. It’s not Pixar-level enchantment, but a tale sure to launch plenty of plush toy merch.

As well it should.

Young Yi (Chloe Bennet) dreams of escaping her humdrum home. Her father passed not too long ago, and the itch to travel, to explore, burns within her.

So when she bumps into an escaped Yeti on her apartment’s rooftop she’s ready for adventure. And she’ll get plenty of it after bonding with the creature she dubs “Everest.” He’s on the run from a wicked hunter (impeccably voiced by Eddie Izzard) and his ginger-haired henchwoman (Sarah Paulson).

Yi gets unexpected help from her neighbors, the lovable Peng (Albert Tsai) and Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor). Jin’s selfie obsession is played for laughs, but his character eventually grows beyond teen cliches.

It’s that attention to detail, atop the lustrous visuals, that sets “Abominable” apart.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This Friday, get swept away by the magic. Get #AbominableMovie tickets: Link in bio.

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Yi teeters on the Mary Sue precipice, but Bennet’s vocal work and sublime animation keep her from falling. She’s scrappy but grounded, a realistic heroine by animation standards, maybe even live action ones, too.

Or maybe not.

The humans and Everest ARE trekking to the Himalayas without even a winter hat, after all.

Early scenes where Yi squares off against her mother (Michelle Wong) and Grandma Nai Nai (Tsai Chin) are priceless. They also make Yi’s pluck well earned.

 

“Abominable” delivers plenty of laughs, most born from wonderfully executed slapstick. Everest and Peng wrestle non stop, giving the film’s animation team every excuse to play their energy up for laughs.

Chinese fingerprints are all over “Abominable,” from the Shanghai backdrop to the cultural nods littered across the story. The film, created by DreamWorks and the China-based Pearl Studios, ladles out the flourishes in ways that are sweet yet hardly accidental.

China’s aggressive use of pop culture soft power can’t be denied. Here, the results are appropriate and endearing. Adults will appreciate a film making the most of its novel settings.

They’ll still wince at how often the screenplay leans back on Everest’s magical powers. This Yeti packs powers we cannot understand, but they flower just when our heroes need them most.

To quote the classic “Church Lady” catch phrase – “Isn’t that conveeeeenient?”

Far better is Yi’s infatuation with her violin. It holds deep meaning for her, and the screenplay underscores its impact on her family ties.

Other sequences, like one set at the Leshan Giant Buddha statue in Sichuan, remind us how “Abominable” stretches for something more than generic kiddie entertainment. More often than not it does just that.

And as much as your kids will want their own Everest toy you might give hug it yourself after watching his first big-screen adventure.

HiT or Miss: Crave kiddie fare that won’t make adults do the eye-roll shuffle? “Abominable” is for you.

The post ‘Abominable’ Offers Lo-Fi Fun, Adventure for All Ages appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.



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