Abominable

Abominable

2019, PG, 92 min. Directed by Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman. Voices by Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai, Sarah Paulson, Eddie Izzard, Tsai Chin, Michelle Wong, Joseph Izzo.

REVIEWED By Steve Davis, Fri., Sept. 27, 2019

The title of this DreamWorks animated feature suggests something more monstrous than cuddly, but the snow-white baby yeti with a snaggle-toothed smile in Abominable is a huggable little critter, ready-made for merchandising as a stuffed animal movie tie-in. The cleverly named Everest belches with the force of a hurricane wind (these days, it’s not an animated kid flick unless someone’s gassy), but otherwise he’s a benign creature with unexplained magical powers that can turn a field of yellow flowers into a floral tidal wave or super-size wild blueberries to the size of a basketball. Except for a scene near the end where he goes all King Kong on the bad guys, thumping his chest and roaring loudly, this ball of fur with a face and appendages is as nonthreatening as a puppy.

In the less-than-sophisticated script by co-director Culton, a frightened Everest escapes from a research facility lodged beneath a nameless Chinese metropolis and subsequently sets out to trek 2,000 miles to return to his Himalayan family, with the help of three kids residing in the apartment building of his rooftop refuge. The trio of young enablers are familiar types: Yi (Bennet), an independent-minded teenage tomboy (the most flesh-and-blood character in the movie); Jin (Trainor), the selfie-obsessed pretty boy her same age; and Peng (Tsai), their moppet sidekick with limitless energy. (In a bit of stunt voice-casting, Trainor is the grandson of namesake Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa mountaineer celebrated as one of two men to first reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.) Adversity comes in the form of two malevolent Brits, a female scientist and a wealthy old coot, who doggedly pursue the runaway snowboy for nefarious reasons. The familiar storyline – a displaced alien trying to get home with the help of young friends – invites the occasional homage to its obvious inspiration, E.T., the most prominent one being the trail of pork dumplings Yi uses to coax Everest out of hiding. Spotting those film references is the most enjoyable thing Abominable has to offer an adult.

There’s some gorgeous animation and impeccable camerawork on display here. But as George Lucas’ 2015 fiasco Strange Magic demonstrated, beautifully executed visuals will get you only so far. There’s no emotional core to Abominable, which mostly proceeds at a glacial pace as the travelers’ journey across China. (Attention spans will wane.) Ultimately, any comparison to the Spielberg classic is a superficial one. The relationship between Yi and Everest is nothing like the bond between Elliott and his extraterrestrial soulmate, largely because the mute Everest has no discernible personality with which to bond. Sure, he’s cute. But cuteness will get you only so far, too.

Showtimes

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Thu., Oct. 17

11:55am, 3:20, 6:00, 8:40

Fri., Oct. 18

12:10, 2:50, 5:40

Sat., Oct. 19

1:45, 4:30, 7:40
AFA 10:55am

Sun., Oct. 20

12:25, 3:15, 6:10
AFA 10:20am

Mon., Oct. 21

12:15, 3:45, 6:30

Tue., Oct. 22

3:45, 6:30
AFA 12:15

Wed., Oct. 23

12:15, 3:45, 6:30

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Fri., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 1:40, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Sat., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 1:40, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 1:40, 4:30, 7:10, 9:40

Mon., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 1:40, 4:30, 7:10

Tue., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 1:40, 4:30, 7:10

Wed., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 1:40, 4:30, 7:10

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

1:15, 3:55
digital 11:50am, 1:15, 2:30, 3:55, 6:35, 9:15

Fri., Oct. 18

digital 1:40, 4:15, 6:55

Sat., Oct. 19

digital 11:05am, 1:40, 4:15, 6:55

Sun., Oct. 20

digital 11:05am, 1:40, 4:15, 6:55

Mon., Oct. 21

digital 1:40, 4:15, 6:55, 9:25

Tue., Oct. 22

digital 1:40, 4:15, 6:55, 9:25

Wed., Oct. 23

digital 1:40, 4:15, 6:55, 9:25

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Thu., Oct. 17

digital 11:35am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:25, 9:55

Fri., Oct. 18

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:10, 6:45

Sat., Oct. 19

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:10, 6:45

Sun., Oct. 20

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:10, 6:45

Mon., Oct. 21

digital 1:35, 4:10, 6:45, 9:20

Tue., Oct. 22

digital 1:35, 4:10, 6:45, 9:20

Wed., Oct. 23

digital 1:35, 4:10, 6:45, 9:20

Fri., Oct. 18

digital 11:10am, 1:40, 4:10, 6:50

Sat., Oct. 19

digital 11:10am, 1:40, 4:10, 6:50

Sun., Oct. 20

digital 11:10am, 1:40, 4:10, 6:50

Mon., Oct. 21

digital 11:10am, 1:40, 4:10, 6:50, 9:25

Tue., Oct. 22

digital 11:10am, 1:40, 4:10, 6:50, 9:25

Wed., Oct. 23

digital 11:10am, 1:40, 4:10, 6:50, 9:25

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Thu., Oct. 17

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 4:50

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Fri., Oct. 18

digital 12:45, 3:20, 6:15

Sat., Oct. 19

digital 10:30am, 12:45, 3:20, 6:15

Sun., Oct. 20

digital 10:30am, 12:45, 3:20, 6:15

Mon., Oct. 21

digital 12:45, 3:20, 6:15, 9:00

Tue., Oct. 22

digital 12:45, 3:20, 6:15, 9:00

Wed., Oct. 23

digital 12:45, 3:20, 6:15, 9:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Thu., Oct. 17

9:55am, 12:50, 3:55, 6:50, 9:30

Fri., Oct. 18

9:55am, 12:55, 3:55, 6:50, 9:30

Sat., Oct. 19

9:55am, 12:55, 3:55, 6:50, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 20

9:55am, 12:55, 3:45, 6:50, 9:30

Mon., Oct. 21

12:55, 3:55, 6:50, 9:30

Tue., Oct. 22

12:55, 3:55, 6:50, 9:30

Wed., Oct. 23

12:55, 3:55, 6:50, 9:30

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Fri., Oct. 18

10:20am, 12:45, 3:15, 5:45

Sat., Oct. 19

10:20am, 12:45, 3:15, 5:45

Sun., Oct. 20

10:20am, 12:45, 3:15, 5:45

Mon., Oct. 21

10:20am, 12:45, 3:15, 5:45

Tue., Oct. 22

10:20am, 12:45, 3:15, 5:45

Wed., Oct. 23

10:20am, 12:45, 3:15, 5:45

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Thu., Oct. 17

CC 11:45am, 2:45, 3:45, 6:40, 9:45

Sat., Oct. 19

CC 11:45am, 2:30, 5:30

Sun., Oct. 20

CC 11:45am, 2:30, 5:30

Mon., Oct. 21

CC 11:45am, 2:30, 5:30

Tue., Oct. 22

CC 11:45am, 2:30, 5:30

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Thu., Oct. 17

CC 10:00am, 12:30, 2:55

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 7:40, 10:10

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Thu., Oct. 17

11:50am, 2:10, 4:35, 7:10

Fri., Oct. 18

11:50am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:10, 9:25

Sat., Oct. 19

11:50am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:10, 9:25

Sun., Oct. 20

11:50am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:10

Mon., Oct. 21

11:50am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:10

Tue., Oct. 22

11:50am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:10

Wed., Oct. 23

11:50am, 2:05, 4:30, 7:10

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Fri., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:30

Sat., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:30

Sun., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:30

Mon., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 2:00, 4:30, 7:30

Tue., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 2:00, 4:30

Wed., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 2:00, 4:30, 7:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:15, 5:30, 7:15, 9:45

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Thu., Oct. 17

10:15am, 12:45, 4:15, 10:00

Fri., Oct. 18

10:00am, 3:15, 6:00

Sat., Oct. 19

10:00am, 1:05, 3:15, 6:00

Sun., Oct. 20

10:00am, 1:05, 3:15, 6:00

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Thu., Oct. 17

10:55am, 2:15, 6:00, 8:45

Fri., Oct. 18

10:00am, 12:25, 3:15, 6:00

Sat., Oct. 19

10:00am, 12:25, 3:15, 6:00

Sun., Oct. 20

10:00am, 12:25, 3:15, 6:00

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Thu., Oct. 17

10:20am, 1:30, 4:15, 6:55, 9:35

Fri., Oct. 18

10:30am, 1:40, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Sat., Oct. 19

10:30am, 1:40, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Sun., Oct. 20

10:30am, 1:40, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Mon., Oct. 21

10:30am, 1:40, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Tue., Oct. 22

10:30am, 1:40, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Wed., Oct. 23

10:30am, 1:40, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Thu., Oct. 17

1:20
3-D 4:30
3D 4:30

Fri., Oct. 18

10:40am, 2:00, 4:30, 6:50

Sat., Oct. 19

10:40am, 2:00, 4:30, 6:50

Sun., Oct. 20

10:40am, 2:10, 4:30, 6:50

Mon., Oct. 21

2:10, 4:30, 7:40

Tue., Oct. 22

2:10, 4:30, 7:40

Wed., Oct. 23

2:10, 4:30, 7:40

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Thu., Oct. 17

10:45am, 12:00, 1:10, 3:30, 5:00, 6:00, 8:20, 9:25

Fri., Oct. 18

10:40am, 1:40, 4:00, 6:20, 8:40

Sat., Oct. 19

10:40am, 1:40, 4:00, 6:20, 8:40

Sun., Oct. 20

10:40am, 1:40, 4:00, 6:20, 8:40

Mon., Oct. 21

11:20am, 1:40, 4:00, 6:20, 8:40

Tue., Oct. 22

11:20am, 1:40, 4:00, 6:20, 8:40

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Thu., Oct. 17

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45

Fri., Oct. 18

11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00

Sat., Oct. 19

11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 20

11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00

Mon., Oct. 21

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15

Tue., Oct. 22

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15

Wed., Oct. 23

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 11:30am, 1:50, 4:10, 7:20, 9:40

Fri., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:15

Sat., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:15

Sun., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:15

Mon., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:15, 9:35

Tue., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:15, 9:35

Wed., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:15, 9:35

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