We grew up learning about the mystery of the Loch Ness monster and the chupacabras. We wondered about the existence of the UFOs. But if there’s one thing closest to our Asian hearts, that is the mystery of the Big Foot or Yeti. These mythical creatures have been a subject of fictional stories for the longest time. And on those occasions, they have always been painted as gruesome creatures who know nothing but to hunt for blood. In DreamWorks Animation’ and Pearl Studios’ Abominable, they were shown on a different light. It was a story of Asian family culture that is filled with heart and adventure. Bingers, here is our review of Abominable:
The Asian Roots
For the longest time, animated movies have been showing Caucasian-looking characters and there is no surprise there. They were liken after their creators. So whenever Asian characters show up as main ones in a movie, I can’t help but feel a certain amount of joy! In Abominable, we were taken to the streets of China. It is an Asian-centric movie for once! The best part about this decision is the integration of the Asian family values which hit too close to home!
We have a teenage girl Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet) who is distant from her family. Her all-female family is consisted of her, her mom and grandmother, Nai-nai. With the three of them living under one roof, it is odd that they seem to be living apart. The elders are worried about Yi’s attitude towards them. While it may sound weird to some, it actually felt too real. Asian families are known to have been not too showy when it comes to their emotions and Abominable captured that very essence. Yi spends most of her time instead juggling different side gigs and playing her dad’s violin at their apartment’s rooftop at the end of the day. This spot has became her little sanctuary for her thoughts as she is accompanied by the China skyline.
The movie is rich in heart and emotions with family at its very core. On the topic of family, belongingness also plays a huge part and this is where the introduction of the Yeti, Everest, comes in. He is a Yeti captured from the Himalayas and brought to a lab in the city to be studied on. Everest as a total character is a success on its own- it is cute, it is adorable, and it has a great plot to bring to the story.
The Highs and Lows of Abominable
DreamWorks Animations and Pearl Studios’ animated movie is a nearly flawless one. Why nearly, you may ask. Here are the reasons:
Beautiful Animation – At this point, it should not come as a surprise that Abominable will look stunning on screen. I mean, it is from the studio that brought us the breathtaking How to Train Your Dragon movies! From the intricacy of the character design up to the captivating sceneries patterned after Asian landmarks, the movie is a feast for the eyes! I have lost count of the sequences that made me go, “Ohh, wow! That’s pretty!”
Story That Resonates – As I mentioned earlier in the movie review, Abominable picked an Asian setting and that made the story an extra interesting one. For a change, we are no longer watching European or American-centric narrative but instead a story that is too familiar to the Asian market, us. Setting race aside, the animated feature from DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studios also boasts depth! It tackles family values, sense of belongingness, and finding one’s own mission. It knew when to tickle us with laughter and joy but it also knew when to make us go in tears. There was a particular scene from the movie that made me tear up in my seat because of a famous Coldplay song that was too perfect for the scene.
The Unbalanced Humour- This part is where things will be subjective. It is humor we are talking about after all. A joke might be funny to some but not to others and to me, there were some jokes in the movie that did not land or fell a bit too short. But then again, this is still an animated movie aimed towards children.
Abominable is one of my unexpectedly beautiful films of 2019. It is fresh and filled with heart and adventure. The captivating visuals and pretty movies will take us to the top of the Everest and melt our frozen hearts!
Director: Jill Culton
Cast: Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Sarah Paulson
Binge-level: 4.5 out of 5 stars