DreamWorks has released the official trailer for its animated yeti adventure, Abominable. There's a longstanding trend in Hollywood of very similar films releasing in close proximity to one another, be they movies about volcanoes, ants, or mercenaries attacking the White House. More recently, it came to light that Warner Bros., Laika, and DreamWorks have all been working on animated projects about yetis (to some degree), in the forms of Smallfoot, Missing Link, and Abominable, respectively. All three films will have hit theaters within a year of each other, by the time the latter arrives in September.
Written and directed by Jill Culton (Open Season), Abominable features Chloe Bennet (Agents of SHIELD) as the voice of Yi, a teenager who encounters a lost Yeti on the roof of her Shanghai apartment building, and teams up with her friends to help reunite them with their family. The project entered development in 2010 and was titled Everest early on, both before and after Culton stepped down in 2016, only to return as director two years later. It's been far smoother sailing since then, fortunately, as evidenced by the film's marketing getting up and running of late.
While a trailer for Abominable's been screening in theaters for the last couple months, DreamWorks (for whatever reasons) decided to hold off on releasing the preview online, to go with the film's poster. That changes today, as you can see in the space below.
Yetis aside, the trailer suggests Abominable is pretty different from either Smallfoot or Missing Link, as far as its story and visual style are concerned. The plot, as shown here, follows Yi and her friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), as they nickname their furry new companion (what else?) "Everest" and set out to reunite them with their family at the highest point on earth. Overall, it appears to be a fairly conventional fantasy adventure, complete with diabolical villains - here, Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy fellow determined to re-capture Everest - and some playful magical elements. At the same time, there are hints of a narrative with some greater depth here, in the moments where Yi reminiscences about her late father and discovers that she, like Everest, has special abilities all her own.
Between its E.T.-like story and kid-friendly humor, Abominable shouldn't have too much trouble attracting a crowd when it arrives this fall (September 27, to be exact). It's set to open against movies like the Chadwick Boseman-led crime thriller 21 Bridges and Renée Zellweger's Judy Garland drama, Judy, so competition will be pretty light for family oriented entertainment, too. The film, which was co-produced by Pearl Studio (formerly Oriental DreamWorks), also offers some welcome representation with its focus on three non-white heroes, so that's all the more reason to hope this one turns out well, both critically and commercially. Who knows: Abominable might even prove to be the best of the animated yeti adventures yet.
Source: DreamsWorks Animation
- Abominable (2019) release date: Sep 27, 2019