Dreamworks has been hit or miss when it comes to releasing great animated films over the years. Whether it’s Shrek or Kung Fu Panda, there some truly great movies out there, but I once How to Train Your Dragon hit theaters, and each of its consecutively great sequels, I found myself wondering if the studio had peaked with that trilogy. Well, Abominable is their latest upcoming release, and after seeing it at the Toronto International Film Festival, I can confidently say that this is surprisingly one of the very best animated films that they have released, ever.
Everyone knows that the creature known as the Yeti has been known to be a myth, never to be seen or watched but in Abominable, a young girl (Yi) finds that one actually exists. Having been experimented on in laboratories until escaping and finding its way onto this girl’s roof, she befriends him and makes it her mission, along with two other friends, to return him to his home on mount Everest. This particular story has been told hundreds of times, but unlike many movies that choose to copy and paste formulas, Abominable is one that truly cares about the characters and the adventure they go on, which had me falling in love with it as it progressed.
Having written the story for Monster’s Inc., worked in the animation department at Pixar on Toy Story and Toy Story 2, eventually directing her first animated feature in Open Season, and now officially writing and directing Abominable, completely bringing her full vision to life, Jill Culton is one with a storied career, albeit not massive. After her outing here, I must admit that I will be following her work and free download all for years to come because I believe her vision and how it was showcased, was honestly fantastic. On top of that, Dreamworks has been on a roll with incredible animation, and this movie is nothing shy of fitting that description.
It should go without saying nowadays that most films released by large studios will probably hire the best of the best to create the most beautiful animation, but I just have to commend them here as well. The smooth motions of characters and the detail put into the wide landscape shots are all superb, and these elements are only elevated by a very enjoyable cast of characters, on an adventure that eventually had me in tears. If for nothing else, you’ll probably enjoy looking at this movie, but it has much more than that to offer.
In the end, Abominable does suffer from feeling familiar at first glance, but this movie embraces that and creates a journey that feels fresh. The themes throughout this film are meant for all ages, which is why I believe this movie will be a hit with families across the world when it hits theatres. I wasn’t exactly jumping out of my seat with excitement when the trailers for this movie first began to circulate, but after experiencing it for myself, I must say that Abominable definitely surprised me in ways that I wasn’t expecting. This is a great animated film and it deserves attention when it hits theatres.