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Review: Scenic 'Abominable' trudges a familiar path

(from left) – Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor), Peng (Albert Tsai), Everest and Yi (Chloe Bennet) in DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio’s "Abominable," written and directed by Jill Culton.{ }(Photo: DreamWorks Animation)

3 out of 5 Stars
Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman
Writers: Jill Culton
Starring: Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Rated: PG for some action and mild rude humor

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SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: Yi, a teenage girl, takes on odd jobs to earn money to take the trip across China that she and her recently deceased father had planned. The journey begins earlier than expected when Yi discovers a wounded Yeti hiding on her building’s roof.

Review: With a budget resting somewhere around $75 million, “Abominable” isn’t a cheaply produced throwaway even if it was made by Pearl Studio, essentially DreamWorks Animation’s junior varsity squad, that produces animated films in China. It’s not quite as breathtaking as recent Pixar and DreamWorks releases, but there’s nothing egregious. This isn’t “Norm of the North.”

Despite being set in China, the narrative is a familiar one that finds a young person dealing with the loss of a parent and an adventure that helps them to sort through their emotions and emerge as a better version of themselves at film’s end.

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There are many parallels that can be drawn between “Abominable” and 2019's other Yeti movie, “Missing Link.” In both films, we have an explorer who has been rejected and mocked by their mainstream peers who refuse to believe that Yeti actually exist. It worked well in “Missing Link” because the explorer was one of the main characters. Here the explorer is a secondary character and time spent on his narrative steals away from time that should be spent exploring the relationship between Yi and her Yeti.

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“Abominable” isn’t going to enthrall many adults; it will entertain younger audiences. It’s not particularly unique. It also isn’t overly annoying or filled with bathroom humor and is unlikely to drive parents crazy when their children spend a week watching nothing else.