‘Abominable’ review: Postcards from father to daughter

‘Abominable’: All kinds of likeable

‘Abominable’: All kinds of likeable   | Photo Credit: DreamWorks

An incredibly likable tale about a young girl taking a lost yeti back to the Himalayas, while reconnecting with herself. What can be more feel-good than that?

Abominable might be set in Shanghai but the thing that struck me is how much the urban China feels like New York. Not when it comes to the geography of the place that is created in spectacular detail, but how the characters, relationships, situations and emotions blend in and fuse with the Hollywood mode of story-telling than stand for and represent the specifics of culture. But then this amalgamation is the way, perhaps, that the whole wide world is moving, both on and off-screen. So teenager Yi’s (Chloe Bennet) Nai Nai (grandmother, Tsai Chin) might serve typical baos and dumplings on the dinner table but Yi’s relationship with her mother and Nai Nai, the teenage angst, the part-time job she does and the larger teenage scene, have a universal ring to them. As do the mobile, social media and selfie obsession and the “dude” lingo. That’s just an observation, which doesn’t quite take away from the film’s substantive charm.

The story is straight and simple, with something entirely foreseeable about it. Yet it turns out to be extremely likeable. Yi discovers a lost yeti on the terrace of her building and goes on a journey with her cousins Peng (Albert Tsai) and Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) to reunite him with his family at Mount Everest. On their chase is the rich old man Burnish (Eddie Izzard), Dr Zara (Sarah Paulson) and their bunch of crooks who want to capture the young yeti for their own devious aims.

  • Director: Jill Culton
  • Cast: Computer animated film with voices of Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin, and Michelle Wong
  • Run time: 97 minutes
  • Storyline: Teenager Yi discovers a lost Yeti on the terrace of her building and goes on a journey to reunite him with his family at Mount Everest

The characters — big or small — are rounded, animated, vital and distinct in their own way. The physical travel, through the most enchanting of places, reaches out not just to the children but also the child lying dormant in the most cold and cynical of adult hearts. There’s something bewitching about those giant blueberries, the dandelions, the giant Buddha, the Yellow Mountains and the Gobi desert. But the real deal is to do with the inner, emotional journey which harps on the centrality of the family. How a daughter unwittingly follows the footsteps of a dead father; how among other things the spirit of adventure could also be an inadvertent legacy. It’s all about the postcards from a father to the daughter.

The biggest emotional pull, however, is the lost and found theme itself. In taking a yeti back home, a youngster lost to the world, because of an unresolved grief, manages to reconnect with and home in on herself and the world around her. Healing is all: be it a broken heart or the strings of a violin. The heart has to keep singing, the violin has to play on. Nothing can be more feel good and heart-warming than that when it comes to a family film, that too in the festive season.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 12:29:23 AM |

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