'Abominable: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital'
(Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, et al / 4K Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital / PG / 2019 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)
Overview: When mischievous friends Yi (Chloe Bennet), Jin, and Peng discover a young yeti on their roof, they name him Everest and embark on a thrilling adventure to reunite the magical creature with his family.
On the journey of their lifetimes, Everest helps Yi, Jin, and Peng unlock an inner bravery they didn't know they had.
And as they travel across China to return the magical creature to his home, Everest will help them discover where they truly belong, too.
Blu-ray Verdict: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the brilliantly thoughtful, and wonderfully colorful 'Abominable’ in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this December 17th, 2019.
For my money, this 'Abominable: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.
So, what we have is 'Abominable' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p), HDR: HDR10+
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1, and Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1.
Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.
Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like the vividly sparkling water scenes and boat rides and the high in the sky purple cloud dips and swirls! It just all comes more vividly to life, which is amazing to see, in truth.
Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably the scenes where the characters are interacting with the "creature" and although they are admittedly "flat faces," somehow they still manage to show depth and changing color surfaces when moving) now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.
As for the audio, well we have: English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, and Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.
Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.
Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, well, in truth, Dreamworks has been rather 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 theatres, and each of its consecutively great sequels, I found myself wondering if the studio had peaked with that trilogy.
Well, 'Abominable' (from the creators of the aforementioned 'How to Train Your Dragon' series) is their latest release from them, and after seeing it on 4K Ultra HD, I can happily report 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, 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 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 admittedly 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 comes out on home video.
As for the plethora of Special Features included, I'll do my best to go over a few of the one's that caught my eye.
First up would be a pair of Original Dreamworks Shorts in both 'Marooned' and 'Show & Tell.' 'Marooned' tells the story of a cantankerous and selfish robot named C-0R13. Stranded on an abandoned lunar outpost, C-0R13 longs to return to Earth.
With a partially built ship and his last power source, this determined robot will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.
'Show & Tell' reveals that back home in the Himalayan Mountains, Everest puts on a magical show-and-tell for his fellow yetis after he receives a special care package from Yin, Jing and Peng.
In the highly impressive Animating Abominable,' from production design to storyboarding and animating, the creative team behind 'Abominable' takes us through the design and animation of the film.
In Meet The Cast we get introduced to the cast of 'Abominable' and the characters they play. We also learn first-hand from the actors what their personal inspiration was for the role and how they went about performing the voicework.
Another rather fun one is Your Yeti Care Guide, where Chloe, Albert and Tenzing provide tips and tricks to caring for your newly adopted “Yeti”. In this case YETI stands for pet - dog, kitten and bird!
One last one to check out is the brilliant from start to finish An Abominable Tour with Chloe Bennet, where, and like her father before her, Yi dreams of travelling across China to see the many beautiful, natural and culturally significant locations featured in 'Abominable'.
So, Chloe Bennet, the voice of Yi, takes viewers on their own magical journey and boy, is it breathtaking to say the least! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Features of:
• DREAMWORKS SHORT – MAROONED (Original Short)
• SHOW AND TELL (Original Short)
• DELETED SCENES: with Intros by Writer/Director Jill Culton and Co-Director Todd Wilderman
o Play All
o Spa Day
o Villains at the Map
o Magic Montage
o Yak Attack
• MAKING A MYTH (MOVIE) - Featurette
• ANIMATING ABOMINABLE - Featurette
• MEET THE CAST - Featurette
o Play All
o Chloe Bennet as Yi
o Tenzing Norgay Trainor as Jin
o Albert Tsai as Peng
o Tsai Chin as Nai Nai
o Joe Izzo as Everest
• YOUR YETI CARE GUIDE - Featurette
• COURAGE TO DREAM - Featurette
• AN ABOMINABLE TOUR WITH CHLOE BENNET - Featurette
• EVEREST’S TALK BOX - Featurette
• COOKING WITH NAI NAI - Featurette
• HOW TO ABOMINABLE - How-To-Draw Featurette
o How to Draw
o Play All
o Nai Nai
o How to Make a Chinese Lantern
• YOU CAN SPEAK YETI-ESE - Featurette
• NAI NAI SAYS - Featurette
• FEATURE COMMENTARY - Writer/Director Jill Culton, Co-Director Todd Wilderman, Producer Suzanne Buirgy, Producer Peilin Chou, Production Designer Max Boas, Visual Effects Supervisor Mark Edwards, and Head of Character Animation John Hill
Official 'Abominable' Trailer
'Abominable: 4K Ultra HD' Blu-ray Amazon Purchase Link
Official 'Abominable' Website!
Official 'Abominable' Facebook Page!
Official 'Abominable' Instagram Page!