“Abominable” Isn’t An Abomination, But It Isn’t Very Good, Either


If we are to believe that the Yeti, a mountain-climbing furry monster, truly exists in the contemporary world, then perhaps we must concede that his presence induces a sort of amnesia. It would explain why we’ve never definitively found the creature, and why supposed sightings are so hazy.

It would also explain why I’m already struggling to recall Abominable, a film I saw mere hours ago that centers on the legend. Seriously – I usually have a strong level of retention for films I watch, but Abominable has me laboring to remember its protagonist’s first name. This film has slipped into the recesses of my mind even faster than a Yeti disappears into the snowy white Himalayas.

The film’s story centers on Yi, a teenaged musical prodigy residing in an unnamed Chinese city with her mother and grandmother. Yi discovers a marooned Yeti, who is separated from his family and on the run from a zoological agency determined to ‘study’ him. Yi dubs her new friend “Everest”, and they embark on a quest to return him to his native home, all while dodging the increasingly aggressive efforts of the agency. Joining them on their journey are Yi’s two cousins, who provide comic relief and mischief along the way.

Jill Culton (co-writer of Monsters, Inc.) writes and directs. This is her first film as the sole writer, and unfortunately, her inexperience shows. The screenplay makes numerous rookie mistakes, such as contrived messages and lackluster humor. The animation is okay, the settings and characters being rendered to resoundingly average effect.

In fact, “resoundingly average” is a good way to put Abominable. Not bad, not good, just kind of meh. I doubt many children or parents will particularly enjoy this one.

Or maybe not. See, I viewed this film in the presence of my nine-year old brother who, much to my dismay, isn’t much of a cinema fan. I fully expected him to dislike Abominable, to fidget and yawn throughout the film. And yet, whenever I glanced at him, he appeared fully engaged and focused. When I later asked if he enjoyed the film, he replied yes, even adding that he’d watch it again should the opportunity arise.

So, maybe this review is completely bogus. Maybe, Abominable is a fun, chipper time for kids and parents alike, and I simply didn’t get it. But for me, this film lacked the humor, drama, and warmth of truly great kids films, such as Toy Story, The Lego Movie, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.


Ratings Key:

★ – Bad (e.g., Godzilla ‘98, Pixels, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Justice League

★★ – Mediocre (e.g., Incredibles 2, Watchmen, Alice in Wonderland, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)

★★★ – Good (e.g., Creed II, Batman, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Pretty In Pink, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective)

★★★★ – Great (e.g., Jurassic Park, The Empire Strikes Back, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Social Network)

★★★★★ – Amazing (e.g., Dr. Strangelove, The Terminator, The Dark Knight, Back to the Future, Skyfall)