Star Rating: ⭐
DreamWorks Animation comes to our screens to tell the story of a yeti who is hunted while trying to escape back home to his family and safety. While in hiding he meets teenager Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet) and her friends Jinn (voiced by Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (voiced by Albert Tsai) who embark on a mission to see the lost Yeti to Everest. The four of them are in a race to get the Yeti back home before Explorer Burnish (voiced by Eddie Izzard) and Dr Zara (voiced by Sarah Paulson) can capture the beast. Audiences come to find that this Yeti has extraordinary powers which assist them in their adventure.
Throughout advertising, DreamWorks highlighted that this film was made by the same team responsible for the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. Accordingly, I expected the animation to be more stylised and out there to make sure the Yeti was a striking character in the world they created the way Toothless was, However, I found the designs to be simplistic and uninspired both for the characters and world they were introducing us to. There was nothing wrong with the design, the lines were smooth, and the animation was very neat. However, this need for everything to look cute left everything looking bland as they played it too safe with stylisation. At the same time, I felt the story and characters were clear and original with distinct personalities and morals. It was a shame that none of them was that compelling. The film was clearly set in modern-day with one of the character’s love for social media and technology used for multiple punchlines with mixed success. I also felt that Yi was a strong character and the grief for her recently deceased father meant that she was able to connect with the Yeti’s feelings of loss for his own parents. In a way, I felt that the creature was sent to her as a confidant and spirit guide while moving through her grief.
I felt it was a good enough film with a clear story which provided an easy and enjoyable watch but outclassed by other animated films released this year. Don’t go expecting the same standards of How to Train Your Dragon and just enjoy this film for what it is.