(from left) – Peng (Albert Tsai), Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Yi (Chloe Bennet) with Everest in DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio’s Abominable, written and directed by Jill Culton.

By Laurie Coker

Rating: A-

In the hit and miss world of animated features, Abominable is far more hit than miss.  In a mixed-up world of mix-ups, an unlikely buddy story evolves between a trio of teens and an abominable snowman. Universal Pictures has created a cuddly cute character in “Everest” and kids will love him. Parents will recognize the story but will enjoy the playfulness that director Jill Culton gives to the adventure to get the yeti home.

Voiced by Chole Bennet, Yi and her two friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), set out to return the lost creature. As with any good adventure tale, the trio of friends must travel great lengths to reach their goal – all the while trying to stay one step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard) and money-hungry mogul set on making Everest his latest cash cow, or in this case, cash yeti. Zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) and a team of silly security guards plague the youngsters too. Izzard and Paulson voice their characters with appropriate zeal making the best of their stock characters.

Little about Abominable animation will surprise; most of us have already seen true animation awe-moments. Even so, there is a wonderfully vivid, picturesque quality about the production. Bright, stunning colors and imagery paint a brilliant picture, even if, Everest the yeti looks more like a fluffy stuffed toy than a wild, abominable snow-creature. He has a unique talent and when he is not angry or scared, he behaves like an overgrown puppy, tongue wagging and all.  Almost every moment of the plot, including its not so twisty twists, plays out like an overread children’s story, but watching multitudes of koi, blueberries, and blossoms appear and float freely and fantastically feels almost dreamlike– beautiful and rich. Until that is, the berries blowup and bound wildly towards our heroes.

Abominable makes for some sweet family entertainment. It pleases more for its breathtaking scenery and vibrant and dazzling colors than it does in fresh storyline, but the family will still love it. It’s a fun and frolicking good time. The first collaboration between Dreamworks and China’s Pearl Productions leans more on the chase that the themes and so it earns an A-.

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