Abominable (3 stars)

Abominable

Gorgeous animation that makes up in adorability what it lacks in originality

As adorable as the fluffy creature at its heart, Abominable delivers everything you could want in a piece of family entertainment. It's enjoyable, smartly paced, and the animation is gorgeous. So what if it's not that original?

A Chinese-American co-production from Jill Culton (Open Season) and co-director Todd Wilderman, Abominable is, as you've probably guessed, the story of a yeti. This cute, blue-eyed monster is hiding out on the roof of a Shanghai apartment building after fleeing a laboratory, and it's there he is discovered by teenager Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet from TV's Agents of SHIELD).

Realising he needs to be returned to his Himalayan home, Yi and her friends Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai) decide to help their fuzzy new friend – nicknamed Everest – on his journey. Peril comes in the shape of a wealthy businessman (Eddie Izzard) and zoologist (Sarah Paulson), who are in hot pursuit, trying to claim the creature for themselves.

The narrative shares similarities with a host of other kids' movies (including Smallfoot and the How to Train Your Dragon series), and Everest's big, sad eyes (his only means of communication apart from some mournful grunts and infectious laughter) make him resemble a furrier Toothless.

But the film benefits from its beautiful Far Eastern animated landscapes, locations that look simply luscious on the big screen, while stunning set-pieces include an icy Himalayan bridge sequence (which nods to the Indiana Jones movies) and an entertaining escape from giant blueberries.

Peng (the sweet, younger boy) and Jin (his selfie and sneaker-obsessed older cousin) are there for comic relief, but the more detailed characterisation for Yi, who is grieving her late father, gives the film added heart. And while grown-ups may roll their eyes at the inclusion of Coldplay's morose 'Fix You', they and, more importantly, their kids, will fall for cuddly Everest and be more than happy to accompany him on his fun and frosty adventure.

General release from Fri 11 Oct.

Abominable

  • 3 stars
  • 2019
  • US / China
  • 1h 37min
  • U
  • Directed by: Jill Culton
  • Cast: Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin, Michelle Wong
  • UK release: 11 October 2019

A cute, blue-eyed Yeti is found hiding on the roof of a Shanghai apartment building, and teenager Yi (voiced by Bennett) and her friends Jin (Trainor) and Peng (Tsai) decide to help him get back to the Himalayas. Enjoyable, smartly paced and gorgeously animated; hardly very original, but full of comic relief and heart.

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