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Abominable

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Funny story: when I saw the poster for this film, I wasn’t too interested in seeing Abominable. Even knowing it was made by the same people who did the amazing How to Train Your Dragon I felt pretty meh about it.

But then I saw the trailer. I was sold as soon as I saw those beautiful pork buns. 

You can be forgiven for thinking: ‘Wow, another bigfoot movie?’ And yes, it’s the kind of story line you’d expect with a set up like yeti-lost-in-the-city. But the way I like to look at it, Dreamworks have made another great kid-with-a-beast-friend movie.

But instead of a Viking named Hiccup, we’ve got a Chinese girl named Yi (Chloe Bennet). She, her neighbours Peng (Albert Tsai) and Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor), and Everest the yeti were great characters that I quickly came to love. They felt like real people to me. Or as real as characters in a kid’s film could be.

Speaking of kids, I don’t think I’ve experienced a cinema moment where everyone under the age of ten laughed at the same time. But the joyous roar of many little voices filled the theatre at one point and it was a very beautiful moment.

But as mentioned before the plot is nothing new. Yi, Jin and Peng must journey through the wilderness and fight bad guy collectors to get their yeti friend back home to the Himalayas. While it’s done alright, the movie really shines in the relationships between its characters.

Yi isn’t spending much time at home which is worrying her mother and nai nai (who is one of the best characters, as all sassy grandmothers deserve to be). Jin used to be really close with Yi when they were little, but since hitting the teenage years they’ve grown apart. Naturally, all of these issues are resolved in some form, but it’s quite satisfying to watch it happen.

Yi with her mother (Michelle Wong, left) and grandmother, Nai Nai (Tsai Chin, right)

Even if you don’t end up liking the film, you can’t deny how pretty it is. Auroras, cherry blossoms, and steamy pork buns all bedazzle the eyes with amazing colours. And the music is something to take note of too. 

Especially the diegetic music. My favourite scenes were when Yi took out her violin. As an heirloom of her father’s, the violin holds an important place in her personal journey over the course of the film. Which makes the violin playing all the more wondrous.

There’s nothing too special about Abominable. It has a storyline that’s been done many times before and a twist that’s not really surprising, but it held my attention and kept me hooked til the end.

As the credits rolled, I sat there with a smile on my face. I was happy. I was content. What else can you ask for from a movie?

If you can only see one family film these school holidays, I would direct you to Abominable.

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