PLOT: Despite repeated warnings about humans from their father, the Abominable Snowman, two Abominable Snowkids find themselves in a sleepy Colorado mountain town after being chased out of their hideaway by a scientist determined to capture them.
One thing I’ve noticed with some of the animated Christmas specials is that the entire story could take place any other time of year and it would still make sense. The Christmas aspect of it is a window dressing so they can sell the episode separately. The theme of loving your family and following the rules mean the same thing whether it is Christmas or Flag Day, and no movie abused this cash grab tactic more than Abominable Christmas.
Most of the plot revolves around a scientist who believes that abominable snowmen are real. So she becomes obsessed with catching one so she can parade it around like King Kong, and prove to the scientific world that she is totally not crazy. It is a paint by numbers evil animated character that is tolerable because of Jane Lynch’s talent as a voice actor. Obviously, she doesn’t succeed, but the character’s main issue is that she’s so hard to pinned down on the evil scale that I can’t take her seriously and therefore, I never feel that she’s a threat, which is not good in a villain.
The writers try to make a statement about prejudice by having the abominable snowkids (ugh) be afraid of humans despite never encountering them. Once they do, and find out that they are not all like the scientist, the siblings become completely comfortable with their new friends. It was such a quick turnaround of perception that it was unrealistic even for a cartoon about an abominable snowfamily (ugh x2). It felt like they wanted to go a little further but pulled back because of the audience.
I think I’ve officially allowed this to be about family love as well, but it will still be hard to get a high score without a romantic love story. In Abominable Christmas, they do a good job of showing the relationships instead of telling us how the family members interact. This is especially true between the human brother and sister because he spends the entire movie ignoring her but when she needs him the most he acts without hesitation. The snowkids (ugh x3) are all-around annoying, but at least you can see that they love each other no matter how much they disagree.
As I mentioned in the opening, the Christmas part of the movie is very much tacked on. For long stretches, the characters never mention the time of year as they’re invested in the plot of the special. So while there’s a lot of Christmas-y things (Santa, Tree, Lights, Presents), the story itself lacks a bunch of small things that makes it feel more like the holidays.
Christmas-ness Score: 2.5 out of 5
While Abominable Christmas is far from a perfect Christmas special, it is still light years away from being awful. The animation is good, the voice acting is solid and the story is perfect for the audience they are going for, even if it lacks some Christmas flair. If you’re tired of watching the same old specials, Abominable Christmas is a good change of pace, but don’t expect your kids to want to watch it on repeat.