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Abominable
Abominable (2019 poster).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jill Culton
Produced by Suzanne Buirgy
Peilin Chou
Written by Jill Culton
Starring
Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Editing by Pamela Ziegenhagen-Shefland
Distributed by
Release date(s) September 7, 2019 (2019-09-07) (TIFF)
September 27, 2019 (2019-09-27) (United States)
Running time 97 minutes
Country
  • United States
  • China
Language English
Budget $75 million
Money made $189.7 million

Abominable is a 2019 computer-animated adventure film produced by DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio. It was written and directed by Jill Culton and co-directed by Todd Wilderman, and stars the voices of Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin, and Michelle Wong. The film follows a teenage girl named Yi, who encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai, names him Everest and embarks on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth along with her mischievous friends Jin and Peng, but the trio of friends will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish, a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara to help Everest get home.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2019, and was released by Universal Pictures in the United States on September 27 while Pearl Studio distributed the film in China. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $181 million worldwide. In Southeast Asia, Abominable has garnered controversy for a scene involving a map of the region with the Nine-Dash Line, a contested demarcation line used by China to lay claim over a portion of the South China Sea. Due to this, the film has been banned in several countries involved in territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea—namely, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

Plot

A young Yeti escapes from a compound in Shanghai owned by wealthy businessman Mr. Burnish (Eddie Izzard), who intends to use him to prove the existence of yetis to the world. Meanwhile, teenager Yi (Chloe Bennet) lives with her mother (Michelle Wong) and Nai Nai (Tsai Chin) in an apartment building. She lives a busy life and neglects to spend time with her family and her friends, basketball fan Peng (Albert Tsai) and his tech-savvy and popular cousin Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor). Yi is also a violinist who misses her late father, who was also a violinist.

One evening, Yi encounters the Yeti near her cubby house on the roof of her Shanghai apartment building, which she names "Everest." While hiding him from Burnish Industries' helicopters, Yi gains his trust by feeding him Baozi and treating his wounds. Yi learns that Everest wants to reunite with his family on Mount Everest while Everest learns about Yi's desire to travel across China. When Burnish Industries' private security forces closes in on Everest' hiding place, Everest flees with Yi. After narrowly escaping a Burnish helicopter at the Oriental Pearl Tower, Yi and Everest flee on a ship carrying red cola cans, followed by Peng and a reluctant Jin.

Yi, Everest, and the boys reach a port in southern China and travel on a truck. After their crate falls off the truck, they end up in a forest. There, Everest awes the humans with his mystical powers of stimulating growth among blueberry plants. Meanwhile, Mr Burnish and the zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) continue the hunt for Everest. Following Everest and his human friends' trail, they catch up with them in the Sichuan region but Everest uses his power to cause a plant to grow to a gigantic size. While Yi, Everest, and Peng manage to escape on the wind-blown shoot, Jin is left behind and captured by Burnish Industries' Goon Leader (Richard Dietl).

Despite Dr. Zara's outward love for animals, Jin learns that she is planning to hunt down the yeti to sell it. He also learns that the seemingly cold–hearted Mr Burnish has a soft spot for animals including Dr. Zara's pet jerboa. Meanwhile, Yi, Everest and Peng reach the Gobi Desert where they befriend several tortoises, who gratefully accept their giant shoot. Later, they travel to a town on the banks of the Yellow River where Burnish Industries corners them. Peng helps them escape by unleashing a yak stampede. With the help of Jin, they escape across the Yellow River to a field of yellow flowers, which Everest causes to blossom to gargantuan sizes.

Continuing their journey, the humans and Everest eventually reach the Himalayas. While crossing a bridge, they are trapped on both sides by Burnish Industries' forces. However, Mr. Burnish experiences a change of heart after seeing Everest protecting the children causing him to experience a flashback to his first encounter with the yeti which was protecting its young. Still seeking to sell Everest, Dr. Zara injects Mr. Burnish with a tranquilizer before tranquilizing Everest as well. When Yi tries to protect Everest, Dr. Zara throws her over the bridge. Burnish Industries then departs the mountain with the captive Everest, Peng, and Jin in tow.

However, Yi manages to cling on to a rope. She then uses her violin, which Everest has magically repaired, to summon ice which reinvigorates Everest, who breaks free of his cage. Dr. Zara attempts to kill Everest out-of-anger, but the attempt results in the poacher's own demise along with the Goon Leader in a self-triggered avalanche. To protect Everest and the yetis from humanity, Mr. Burnish agrees to help Yi, Peng, and Jin keep his existence a secret. Yi, Peng, Jin, and Everest continue the journey to Mount Everest where they reunite Everest with his family.

Returning home to Shanghai with the help of Mr. Burnish, Yi spends more time with her mother, grandmother, Peng, and Jin.

Cast

  • Chloe Bennet as Yi, a violin-playing teenager.
  • Albert Tsai as Peng, a friend of Yi's and Jin's cousin .
  • Tenzing Norgay Trainor as Jin, a friend of Yi's and Peng's cousin.
  • Eddie Izzard as Burnish, a wealthy man and head of Burnish Industries who wants to catch a Yeti.
  • Sarah Paulson as Dr. Zara, a poacher posing as a zoologist who works with Burnish.
  • Tsai Chin as Nai Nai
  • Michelle Wong as Yi's mother
  • Rich Dietl as Goon Leader, the leader of the goons that work for Burnish Industries.
  • James Hong as Yak Leader
  • Christine Lin as Teenage Girl #1, Boy's Mother, Female Customer
  • Kym Miller as Teenage Girl #2
  • Jason Ko as Teenage Boy
  • Trevor Devall as Van Driver
  • Karen Huie as Dog Lady, Doc Worker
  • Vic Chao as Jin Impersonator
  • Fernando Chien as Merchant
  • Rupert Gregson-Williams as Everest's humming voice

Music

The film's music was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams, who had previously collaborated with the studio on Over the Hedge and Bee Movie. Also featured on the soundtrack is an original song titled "Beautiful Life" sung by American musician, Bebe Rexha. The film also featured a version of Coldplay's Fix You. The soundtrack was released digitally on September 13, 2019 by Back Lot Music.

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