Why Abominable Is Not What It Seems

why abominable is not what it seems - Somya Duggal new

Writer: Sarah P.

Visual: Somya D.

Editor: Norbu D.

The first weekend of October, I went out to see a movie. After waiting in line to buy a ticket, I found that the only movie that still had seats available that day was Abominable, a childish animation about a lost Yeti. I didn’t want to leave without having seen anything at all, so I begrudgingly bought my ticket for Abominable with low expectations. After nearly two hours, I came out of the theater far from disappointed; in fact, I was pleasantly surprised. 

The movie Abominable was produced by DreamWorks and directed by Jill Culton. Its worldwide release in late September of 2019 marked the third animation about a Yeti in the past year after “Smallfoot” and “Missing Link”. For many, it seemed like another movie with the same selling point was coming up too soon to gain interest among audiences. Although the originality of the movie’s concept was questionable, Abominable proved to be a refreshing new take on children’s animations that made a distinct mark on the genre.

Firstly, the movie was the first major studio animation to have a woman credited as its sole writer and director. Furthermore, many movies in Hollywood have seen non-Asian actors voicing or replacing historically Asian figures but Abominable sets itself apart with its predominantly Asian cast, and features characters unafraid to embrace their cultural identities. This allowed the film to find its place among celebrated Hollywood films in Asian culture alongside Crazy Rich Asians and The Joy Luck Club. Unexpectedly, not only do young viewers enjoy this movie, mature audiences also empathise with the story as it is beautifully crafted with themes of grief, love, and family.

In addition to milestones in animation, Abominable features stunning, show-stopping sequences that demonstrate Culton’s optimization of the possibilities of animation to immerse the audience. “The beauty of the film lies in its vivid colors and tumbling images of rural vastness, riparian grace, streams populated by legions of koi, resplendent Yellow Mountains and giant blueberries that explode like party balloons. It’s all much too much, and more than sufficient to make “Abominable” memorable,” wrote Wall Street Journal critic Joe Morgenstern. Additionally, the soundtrack of the movie utilizes songs to perfectly set the scene, using a combination of nostalgic and melancholic tones in its melodies, including original violin compositions and Coldplay’s “Fix You”, to create unforgettable moments.

All in all, this film has broken boundaries in the world of animation. From a seemingly unoriginal idea stemmed a striking take on the possibilities of an animated film, one with complex themes and breathtaking visuals that has the potential to enthrall audiences of all ages. Through its exquisite cinematics and welcomed uplifting tone, Abominable showed that you don’t have to be a little kid to enjoy a good family movie. 

“Abominable Review: Occasionally Original, but Not Quite Daring Enough.” Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/abominable-review-dreamworks-yeti-animated-film-cast-director-smallfoot-a9148136.html?amp.

Hawson, Fred. “Movie Review: ‘Abominable’ Tells Yet Another Tale about a Lost Young Yeti.” ABS, 8 Oct. 2019, news.abs-cbn.com/entertainment/10/08/19/movie-review-abominable-tells-yet-another-tale-about-a-lost-young-yeti.