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Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman
Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor
Writing Credits:
Jill Culton

Three teenagers must help a Yeti return to his family while avoiding a wealthy man and a zoologist who want it for their own needs.

Box Office:
$75 Million.
Opening Weekend
$20,612,100 on 4242 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated G.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby Atmos
Spanish Dolby 7.1
French Dolby 7.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 12/17/2019

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Jill Culton, Co-Director Todd Wilderman, Producers Suzanne Buirgy and Peilin Chou, Head of Character Animation John Hill, and Production Designer Max Boas and Visual Effects Supervisor Mark Edwards
• 2 Shorts
• Deleted Scenes
• “Making a Myth” Featurette
• “Animating Abominable” Featurette
• “Meet the Cast” Featurette
• “Your Yeti Care Guide” Featurette
• “Courage to Dream” Featurette
• “An Abominable Tour with Chloe Bennet” Featurette
• “Everest’s Talk Box” Featurette
• “Cooking With Nai Nai” Featurette
• “How to… Abominable” Featurette
• “You Can Speak Yeti-ese” Featurette
• “Nai Nai Says” Featurette
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Abominable [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 22, 2019)

With 2019’s Abominable, we got the third “mythical beast”-related animated flick over exactly one year. Smallfoot hit screens September 28, 2018, while Abominable reached multiplexes September 27, 2019.

In between, March 2019 brought Missing Link, the least successful commercial release of the three but arguably the most satisfying film. None of the three did great, but the $214 million worldwide of Smallfoot allowed it to do a bit better than the $176 million of Abominable.

As noted, Link becomes the best movie of the three. Creatively, I’d call it a toss-up between Smallfoot and Abominable, as both offer modest pleasures.

Set in China, mega-firm Burnish Industries manages to capture a yeti and they experiment on this creature. The beast flees, with Dr. Zara (voiced by Sarah Paulson) in pursuit.

The yeti hides in the city but soon gets discovered by teenager Yi (Chloe Bennet). Despite her initial fear of the creature, she soon realizes he’s harmless and just wants to get home to the Himalayas.

This sends Yi on an epic journey to take the yeti – who she names “Everest” – to his place of origin. She goes on this trek with her childhood friend Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and his younger cousin Peng (Albert Tsai), all while they try to stay one step ahead of Dr. Zara and the forces from Burnish.

When I saw Abominable theatrically, I admit I did so without much enthusiasm. Some of that seemed due to the over-exposure to mythical beast flicks I mentioned earlier, but most of this stemmed from the film’s apparent emphasis on humor meant for little kids.

Of course, there’s a place for movie’s oriented at a young audience, but the best flicks of this sort manage to work for all ages. Abominable smacked of something that would lean heavily toward the pre-teen crowd and probably not offer much for anyone older.

To my pleasant surprise, Abominable gave me a tale more charming than anticipated, though I can’t claim it provides an especially mature experience. While it balances out its kiddie orientation with material that appeals to an older crowd, the pre-teen tone dominates.

Still, Abominable only occasionally panders to its target audience, as it usually emphasizes a sweet tone more than anything else. Though predictable, the relationship between Everest and Yi becomes likable, and the other roles fill out their goals in a pleasing manner.

Don’t expect much originality, though, as Abominable borrows heavily from 1982’s classic ET the Extra-Terrestrial. And by “borrows”, I mean “steals shamelessly”.

As I write this, I’ve not screened the movie’s audio commentary, so I don’t know if the filmmakers acknowledge the influence of the Spielberg flick. I find it hard to imagine they could deny the connection, though, as so much of Abominable lifts from ET for them to avoid comparisons.

Not that Abominable comes across as a Mac and Me-style copy, but it really does lean heavily on that influence. This robs Abominable of some of its potential creativity.

Still, Abominable manages to find its own identity most of the time, and it comes with some fun quirks. In particular, the “Whooping Snakes” delight – even if the rest of the film stunk, they’d make it worthwhile.

Happily, the remainder of Abominable doesn’t flop, though I can’t claim it thrills, either. This becomes likable entertainment but nothing memorable.

Footnote: a very minor bonus appears after the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B

Abominable appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As I expected, the transfer looked terrific.

Sharpness was fine across the board. Virtually no softness appeared, as the movie delivered satisfying definition.

No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge haloes were absent. Of course, print flaws never manifested themselves.

Abominable came with a palette that mildly emphasized blue, with a general pastel sense as well. The colors showed a good sense of vividness and worked well.

Blacks were dark and deep, while low-light shots offered nice clarity and smoothness. This became an appealing visual presentation.

With Abominable, we got a Dolby Atmos soundtrack that offered a lively soundscape, especially during the action sequences. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, those fleshed out the spectrum in an involving way and gave us nice chances for movement.

This allowed the surrounds to play an active role. The track worked well enough in the early stages but it picked up more as it went, especially as the film neared its climax. The various channels got a good workout in this engrossing soundscape.

Audio quality seemed pleasing. Speech always sounded distinctive and concise, while music was peppy and rich.

Effects offered solid reproduction, with clean highs and deep lows. I liked this mix and thought it gave the movie life.

The disc comes with a slew of extras, and we launch with an audio commentary from writer/director Jill Culton, co-director Todd Wilderman, producers Suzanne Buirgy and Peilin Chou, Head of Character Animation John Hill, production designer Max Boas and visual effects supervisor Mark Edwards. All sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, various design choices, music, animation, and related domains.

While we learn a decent array of facts about the production, so much happy talk appears here that the end result becomes tough to take. Fans of the film will stick it out for the insights we learn, but all the gushing praise for the project makes it tough to swallow.

Two animated shorts follow: Marooned (7:24) and Show & Tell (2:50). The former offers a WALL-E-style reel about a robot stuck on the Moon, while the latter brings more with the yetis. Neither excels but both seem entertaining.

Four Deleted Scenes follow. Including intros from Culton and Wilderman, these occupy a total of 10 minutes, 30 seconds.

In terms of content, these mostly offer a little more narrative material, with some character elements and a little comedy. Though reasonably enjoyable, none of the scenes feel especially important.

A bunch of featurettes ensue, and Making a Myth goes for six minutes, 58 seconds. It involves Culton, Buirgy, Wilderman, Boas, Chou, head of story Ennio Torresan Jr., and actors Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai, and Tsai Chin.

“Myth” examines characters and cast, visual design and the representation of China. This becomes a decent overview of the topics.

Animating Abominable fills five minutes, 12 seconds with remarks from Culton, Edwards, Buirgy, Wilderman, Chou, Boas, Torresan, Hill, and character effects supervisor Damon Riesberg.

As expected, this show views character design and animation. It delivers another useful piece.

Next comes Meet the Cast, a five-segment compilation with notes from Bennet, Trainor, Tsai, Chin and actor Joe Izzo. Together these fill eight minutes, 22 seconds and give us thoughts about their roles and performances. A few insights emerge but these snippets remain pretty fluffy.

Hosted by Bennet, Your Yeti Care Guide lasts two minutes, 28 seconds and also features Tsai and Trainor. They offer tips about how to take care of pets – regular ones like cats, not yetis. It’s cute but not substantial.

With Courage to Dream, we find a three-minute, four-second reel that features Bennet, Culton, Buirgy and Chou. “Dream” examines gender concepts in the movie. It becomes a decent but somewhat self-serving take.

We get more from Bennet via An Abominable Tour. In this four-minute, 41-second snippet, the actor leads us on a quick tour of the Chinese locations used in the film. Expect a superficial but moderately informative reel.

Everest’s Talk Box fills four minutes, 35 seconds and features Culton, Wilderman, Izzo, sound designers Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, and a group of kids. We get a demo to show how Izzo managed to transform his voice for his role. It’s cutesy and mildly informative.

After this we find Cooking with Nai Nai, a four-minute, three-second piece with Chin and “Chef Shirley”. They give us a quick lesson how to make pork bao. Chef Shirley is cute, but otherwise this becomes a forgettable segment.

Two sections comprise How to: “How to Draw” and “How to Make a Chinese Lantern”. Under “Draw”, we find tutorials for five characters, as we spend 20 minutes, 36 seconds with story artist Daniel Tal.

Tal teaches us how to draw those five characters. In “Make”, we see a three-minute, 47-second lesson that teaches us how to create a lantern. Both are better suited to kids.

You Can Speak Yeti-Ese lasts three minutes, 47 seconds and brings back Bennet to show us Yeti speak. It adds up to another cute but superficial clip.

Finally, Nai Nai Says runs one minute, 48 seconds and offers that character’s lessons. Expect another mildly amusing piece.

The disc opens with ads for Spirit: Riding Free, Curious George: Royal Monkey and The Grinch (2018). No trailer for Abominable appears here.

At no point does Abominable threaten to become a great – or even really good – film, and it borrows too heavily from some influences. Still, it maintains enough humor and charm to turn into a likable adventure. The Blu-ray boasts strong picture and audio along with a bunch of bonus materials. This offers reasonably satisfactory kid-oriented entertainment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
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