The APAHM Project Day 15: Abominable
Director: Jill Culton
Where to watch it: Hulu
Why it made the list:
Yet another animated film centered around an Asian lead, DreamWorks’ “Abominable” is a heart-felt and imaginative film that has accurate casting and modern-day Chinese backdrops.
I first saw this movie in theaters with my mother and she and I absolutely loved it. I felt “Abominable” had all the elements of a great animated movie: heart, adventure, fun, and a hero on a mission.
Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet) is a violinist who befriends a yeti whom she names Everest. She and her friends are determined to save Everest from a group of poachers and take him back home to Mt. Everest to be with his family. They also discover that Everest can control plants and nature by humming.
Additionally, Yi feels distant from her mother and grandmother (voiced by Tsai Chin, who plays Auntie Lindo in “The Joy Luck Club”) and stops playing her late father’s violin for them. Yi admits she keeps busy and doesn’t spend time with her family because she hasn’t had a chance to grieve her father. I think all of us have been there where we would rather run away from our problems than face them. Yi goes on a grand adventure of a lifetime and along the way discovers more about her friends and herself.
At the end of the day, this film is empowering to young girls who don’t fit in the category of loving princess movies. “Mulan” was the last animated film to feature a Chinese girl and have a Chinese woman voice her. Additionally, the subtle details like the mom and Nai Nai telling Yi a million things before she leaves the house make us internally go “yasss” since a lot of us can identify with this. The film does a great job at originality and staying timeless. Even with the use of cell phones and social media, it doesn’t feel dated like “Wreck-It Ralph 2” does with it’s trendy elements.
Does it deserve to stay on this list?
I think Chloe Bennet herself put it better than I ever could about how important this movie and her character are. I think it’s statements like these that prove we are still looking for representation in media. There is such a wide variety of people and personality types that still need to be represented in mainstream media and I think children are often overlooked. But I think it’s so important to feel represented as a child even if they don’t really understand why they are drawn to a character.