Directed by Jill Culton & Todd Wilderman
Seemingly more now than ever, animated movies have attempted to bring parents into the loop with plot points or intricate animation styles that give adults something to enjoy. As an adult (however young-at-heart I may claim to be), I appreciate the effort. Animated movies from Disney or Wes Anderson are often some of the best of the year and touch on themes that live-action dramas might only hope to confront with such delicacy. “Abominable” is not one of these movies. And that’s okay.
Following maybe too closely the plot of “Missing Link” (which released five months earlier), “Abominable” begins with the escape of a yeti from the clutches of a spurned explorer (Eddie Izzard) and an ambitious zoologist (Sarah Paulson), who have their own reasons for capturing the beast and sharing him with the world. But when the yeti finds a grieving young girl (Chloe Bennet), he finds the perfect companion to take him across the Chinese countryside to his home in the Himalayas.
By definition, a climax occurs right before the end of the story, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to say that in a movie about a journey home, the climax should occur close to the end of the journey. But both “Missing Link” in April of 2019 and “Abominable” in September involved legendary beasts trying to find home but facing a showdown on a bridge right before they reach their destination. Both involved explorers to wanted to capture the beasts for their own greedy desires, and good-hearted people who have their best interests at heart. Add these films to the list that includes “White House Down”/“Olympus Has Fallen,” “The Illusionist”/“The Prestige,” and “Friends with Benefits”/“No Strings Attached.”
“Abominable” doesn’t raise the bar for animation or storytelling. Its childish illustration and basic plot are easily digested by children, but they don’t exactly wow adults (at least, not ones who have seen a Pixar movie). Animated movies were always meant to be made for children, and there’s nothing wrong with that. So if you’re a seven-year-old who reads my blog, I think you will like “Abominable.” If you’re a little older, maybe draft a kid to watch it with you.