In the animated film ABOMINABLE, a young woman, two friends and a magical creature embark upon a journey that takes them halfway across the globe, from Shanghai to the Himalayas. Cinemark went on a much shorter trip to the film's press event, where we spoke to actors Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai and Tenzing Norgay Trainor.
After Yi (Chloe Bennet) discovers a furry, frightened beast on the rooftop of her Shanghai apartment building, she names him Everest and agrees to help him get back to his home, high in the Himalayan mountains. The two aren't alone on the trip, either. Yi's mischievous neighbor Peng (Albert Tsai) and his pre-med, playboy cousin Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) tag along for the ride.
Tsai suggested that the human characters make this larger-than-life story feel approachable. “All of the characters are super relatable,” Tsai said. “Yi is the tomboy. Jin is the socialite type. Peng is just this fun-loving, energetic kid.” Chloe Bennet also said that what Yi is already going through at the beginning of the film helps orient the audience before Everest turns the characters' lives upside down. “At its core of this story is a very grounded, real-life authentic story about a young girl dealing with grief,” Bennet said.
Of course, unless the filmmakers know something that audiences don’t, abominable snowmen don’t really exist. So the cast used associations with pets to guide the special relationships their characters develop with Everest. “We had three massive dogs. I would make makeshift saddles and ride them around the house,” explained Bennet, adding, “I was very young!” Trainor said his dog, Speedy, gave him some unique insights into the relationship between Jin and the furry beast. “We have a great connection,” he said.
Bennet continued, “You don’t realize how much the character of Everest pulls at your heartstrings until the end of the movie, when you go, ‘oh my God!’ It reminds you of that magical unspoken relationship that a lot of people have with their animals, which I loved.”
All images courtesy of Dreamworks Animation / Universal Pictures.