DreamWorks Animation Studios has put out some pretty memorable movies over the years. From the “Shrek” movies to the “How to Train Your Dragon” movies, the studio has pumped out some pretty memorable and classic characters. Everyone loves, and will remember, Toothless the dragon and Shrek the ogre. Both of those characters displayed distinct personalities fans were able to connect with and somewhat relate to. Unfortunately in DreamWorks Animation’s latest effort, “Abominable,” Everest the yeti does not quite possess those qualities that Toothless and Shrek maintain.
While “Abominable” is still a cute and heartwarming movie, Everest’s grunting and humming / chanting don’t really do much to help his character. Sure, in times of need in the story the chanting Everest does effectively gets the characters out of the various jams in the plot but it is boring for the most part. When Everest uses his magical powers, flowers move and landscapes shift and even broken items get repaired. The animation used to bring his magical power to life is absolutely beautiful but the idea of it has been done before in other movies. Think “E.T.” and what happened when his powers were used, just not as destructive.
The plot of “Abominable” was pretty thin. It was about a magical yeti going on an adventure back to his home in the Himalayas. Everest is captured in China by Mr. Burnish (voiced by Eddie Izzard) and held in captivity for reasons that are basically to make him look like a hero. Once Everest escapes, Mr. Burnish tasks Dr. Zara (voiced by Sarah Paulson) to get him back. Dr. Zara then tracks down Everest with an incredibly dimwitted and useless team that resemble our modern day SWAT. Dr. Zara’s team fails so much and they act like complete useless idiots the whole time. Clearly, this was the movie’s vehicle for laugher but it did not really work. Nobody was laughing at the numerous times Dr. Zara’s team screwed up in trying to re-capture Everest. The jokes simply fall flat. The whole movie is simply the three main characters trying to protect Everest and get him back to his home. The independent young girl Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet), the basketball loving boy Peng (voiced by Albert Tsai), and the narcissistic boy Jin (voiced by Tenzing Norgay Trainor) all work well together during their time with Everest the yeti. Everest helps Yi with a few troubles of her own all while Everest befriends Peng and Jin. Their relationships are pretty cute but unfortunately not really memorable.
Obviously where “Abominable” really does shine is in the animation department. I saw it on a crystal clear Dolby Cinema screen and the animation is quite impressive. While it is not in the same league as the “Lion King” remake, the quality of animation in “Abominable” was a treat for the retinas. It had the “DreamWorks look” to it and it was totally on brand. It should be seen on the biggest and brightest screen you can find because I caught myself in times of amazement when I saw the tiniest of details on the characters. You can also drink in all the beautifully vivid colors on screen at once. Animation has gotten crazy good and it has fully embraced the newest technology in order to achieve greatness.
While “Abominable” will probably not be considered as one of the great DreamWorks movies, it is still worth a trip to the movies to see it on a huge screen. The kids will probably find Everest more magical than the adults, but the movie can still be enjoyed by all.