‘Abominable’ Review: Are We There, Yeti?
“Abominable” is an exceptionally watchable and amiable animated tale written and directed by Jill Culton. Its opening scene is like that of a first-person video game. From the point of view of something in captivity, we, the audience, break free, bouncing out of a cell and into a lab, where a red-haired female scientist informs us, in a plummy British accent, that we really ought not to be out and about.
But further out we go, and soon the P.O.V. segment ends. We see whose eyes we’ve been looking through: a large four-legged creature with snow-white fur, gorgeous sky-blue eyes and a goofy grin. The creature, who gets nicknamed Everest, after the place where it wants to return, at times looks like a not-too-distant relative of Gritty, the lovably outré mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers.
He parks on the roof of a small apartment building in China, from where he can see a billboard of his home. There he is discovered by Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet), a plucky violin-playing tween who’s saving money to embark on a journey that her late father had envisioned for his family. Once she establishes a bond with Everest, she learns of the shady interests that had been keeping him caged. Along with her young friends, Yi gets swept up by Everest on an epic, colorful journey home.
Everest is a Yeti, but in this movie Yetis have been substantially reconstituted from those of conventional myth. This one can do magical things, particularly in the wild, where he bonds with nature to grow giant blueberries or conjure a land-borne speedboat that can power through miles-long fields of flowers. These acts are beautiful and exhilarating to behold. So much so, in fact, that one tends not to mind the highly recycled nature of the narrative itself.
Rated PG for intense chase scenes and Yeti imperilment. Running time: 1 hour 37 minutes.
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