Abominable is a new animated film coming out on September 27, 2019 from Dreamworks Animation and Pearl Studio, set in China. Dreamworks labels this the first animated film to feature a modern Chinese family. The movie is voiced by an Asian American cast that includes Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor and Albert Tsai as the voiceover actors for the three main characters, Yi, Jin and Peng. Rounding out the Asian American cast are Michelle Wong as Yi’s mom and Tsai Chin as Yi’s grandmother. Eddie Izzard and Sarah Paulson finish out the cast voicing Burnish and Dr. Zara, the movie’s primary antagonists.
The lead is of course “Abominable” the yeti, or “Everest” as he’s named by Yi, the Chinese teenager who discovers him. She names him after seeing Everest look longingly at a travel billboard of Mt. Everest. Yi discovers Everest on the rooftop of her apartment building in present day Shanghai, and the movie details their cross-China adventures with her neighbors Jin and Peng, trying to get Everest home.
Some of the best are Yi’s interaction with her mom and her grandmother, with whom she shares the apartment in Shanghai. With a Chinese grandmother you expect Chinese food being pushed all the time, and Yi’s nai-nai (奶奶) does not disappoint. Yi is a moody teenager, especially after the recent death of her father.
Yi’s interaction with her family reminded me at times of my own interactions with my teenage daughter, including my daughter’s reluctance to join me at the preview showing of “Abominable.”
If the producing studio seems familiar, it’s because it’s from Dreamworks, and they last collaborated with Pearl Studio (formerly Oriental Dreamworks) on Kung Fu Panda 3.
The film is a fun ride, if a bit formulaic, and definitely worth a viewing, even more so if you’ve got a little one who would enjoy an animated film. The film is rated PG, though, so it may not be for the smallest ones.