Michael Scott

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Abominable


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Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :3stars:
Final Score: :4stars:



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Movie

Dreamworks pictures has long since broken their mold of being a second rate animation company and has been playing with the big boys for quite some time now. Hits like Shrek, Shrek 2, and the How to Train Your Dragon series have catapulted them into the Disney/Pixar ranks almost, and at the very least have solidified them as one of the “big boys” in the animated film department. That being said, Abominable is not one of their greatest hits. Sure it has some adorable characters, beautiful eastern locations and some great animation, but it just is not up there with the better hits that the studio has put out. I really wanted to go see it in theaters (as did my wife who has been begging me to watch it with her for the last week), but some health issues made it pretty clear that I would only be checking it out on home theater this time. It’s a solid movie, but one that’s just lost midst the crowds of other big hits in 2019, and the stereotypical and slightly cliched storytelling keeps it just in the second tier of animation.

Yi (Chloe Bennet) is a grieving teenager in Mainland China who is still suffering from the recent loss of her father. Her mother (Michelle Wong) is worried about her daughter’s seemingly cavalier attitude about the whole thing, but Yi is just drowning herself in odd jobs and side gigs in order to numb the pain and raise enough cash so she could fulfill her father’s dream of visiting some of the great wonders of Asia. The young girl gets her chance when she happens to stumble across a wounded Yeti (Joseph Izzo) and decides to help it back to it’s native home of Mt. Everest (nicknaming the beast Everest in the mean time).

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However, Everest is not exactly home free. The maniacal explorer Mr. Burnish (Eddie Izzard) had originally captured the beast and wants him back. Sending his second in command Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to capture the Yeti, the aging philanthropist will stop at NOTHING to get his prey back. Yi, along with the help of her young friend Peng (Albert Tsai) and his cousin Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor), refuse to let the lovable monster get captured and put into captivity, and thus set out on an adventure to return Everest back to his home in the mountains.

Abominable is a cute movie for sure, and actually has some really sweet moments. The idea of dealing with a dead parent is rather weighty, but it’s handled with delicate ease and is very relatable for young children, even if they haven’t had to deal with death before. The problems that the movie faces stem from the fact that it utilizes a very stereotypical story with the heroes and the villains turning out exactly as one would expect. The film tries (and generally succeeds at) glossing over a lot of these problems with the stunning visuals and use of exotic Asian settings to wow the audience. It’s a cute experience, and one that certainly is very enjoyable, but also one that is extremely predictable and generic at the same time.




Rating:

Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor




Video: :4.5stars:
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The 1080p Blu-ray looks near reference quality for the digitally animated film. It’s gorgeously colored with all sorts of blues, greens, reds, earthy browns and silky whites of the snow covered peaks. The various exotic Asian locations keep the color palette constantly changing, with some scenes in the richly green forests, while the deserts of China look bleak and worn out with rusty browns. Fine detailing is superb, with every bit of fur on Everest's body showing up nicely, as well as the nuances of Yi’s teenage outfits (I was actually surprised how realistic the clothes look in these modern animated films. It’s just something to marvel at. There’s a few moments of color banding in the first 5 minutes of the movie (the opening credits are the most obvious), but otherwise there is very little negative that I could say about the image.








Audio: :4stars:
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Universal’s Dolby Atmos track (found both in the Blu-ray and the 4K UHD disc) is quite pleasing, with some nice channel separation and good low end rumble, but doesn’t really max out the Atmos capabilities with the overheads or directionality. I noticed some mild overheads with the use of the helicopters, but most of the time this was really a 7.1 mix with only moderate bass and dynamic range. Chapter 14 shows a stampeded of Yaks that really gets the blood pumping (and shows off the 2 second cameo by actor James Hong), and while the track is full and rich with the music and dialog, it just doesn’t push it hard as some of the other Atmos tracks I’ve heard.







Extras: :3stars:
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• Meet the cast
• Marooned
• Your Yeti care Guide
• Courage to Dream
• Making a Myth (movie)
• Animating Abominable
• Deleted Scenes with Introductions









Final Score: :4stars:


Abominable a cute, charming, cuddly, and really relatable little animated adventure. The only real knock against the film is that it comes out in a time chocked up by other big name titles and having several large name Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks titles eclipse it with better storytelling. That still shouldn’t dissuade you from checking it out if you’re an animated film fan though, as I had a readlly good time with the picture and most of the flaws are just exacerbated by having other excellent films around to compare it to. The 4K UHD disc is a solid looking presentation, with good audio and decent extras.


Technical Specifications:

Starring: Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Chloe Bennet, Joseph Izzo, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin
Directed by: Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman
Written by: Jill Culton
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), French, Spanish DD+ 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Studio: Universal
Rated: PG
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 17th, 2019
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Recommendation: Cute Watch

 

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. Will see this one with the kids for the holidays. :)
 

Epoxy1

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Not one of DreamWorks best efforts IMO.
 
Last edited:

jdubs75

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I watched this one with the family over the weekend. @Michael Scott Your review nailed it: Cute story, video was really good but not great and the audio could've and should've been a lot better! Still a fun movie and enjoyed the time (and popcorn) with the family!
 

Michael Scott

Moderator / Reviewer
Staff member
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Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
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Arizona
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Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
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I watched this one with the family over the weekend. @Michael Scott Your review nailed it: Cute story, video was really good but not great and the audio could've and should've been a lot better! Still a fun movie and enjoyed the time (and popcorn) with the family!
yup, it's what I would consider "passably cute". fun movie, not bad at all, just not great.
 
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