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Item - The Abominable Snowman

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure Interactive Movies — no. 1
Adapted From: The Abominable Snowman (Gamebook)
Authors: Tanaka, Shawn
Wood, Doug
Allen, Elise (additional dialogue)
Doucette, Bob (director)
Date: July 25, 2006
Length: 80 minutes
Number of Endings: 11
User Summary: Three kids are called by their adventurer uncle to help him look for Yeti in Nepal.
Fireguard's Thoughts:

I feel like I tend to be overly negative when I review gamebooks here, so this time I'll start off by saying something positive: despite my initial fears, the movie didn't bend over backwards trying to use the phrase "penguin butt" after it was introduced early in.

This movie was obviously made with the younger set in mind. While you get to savor victory, the negative endings aren't shown. The kids get chased out of sight or around a bend by bees or a bear. Do they get stung to death or eaten alive? You'll never know, it goes to "THE END?" as soon as they're out of sight. When you reach an ending, you're allowed to go back to any of the previous choices you encountered, any of them at all, and choose the different one.

Those aren't bad features, and if I want to know the gory details of my untimely demise I could always read Fighting Fantasy or Golden Dragon. Still the choices tended to be either obvious or arbitrary and I didn't feel like much thought went into them.

The character dynamic of the protagonists is pretty typical: there's two adventurous kids and an older, somewhat nerdy one who's always being ribbed by the others for scaring so easily. He was supposed to be the whiny stick-in-the-mud type who ruins the thrill for his friends, but I found myself agreeing with him a lot. Going on a Yeti-hunting expedition would require a certain amount of courage, but wouldn't you be scared all the time if you lived in a world that never invented SEATBELTS? I also didn't like one decision where the worrywart kid is flat-out asked if he's willing to give up his loved ones because he doesn't feel like constantly gambling with his life. What message does that send to impressionable viewers?

A CYOA interactive DVD is a fine idea, don't get me wrong, but in the end I didn't like how it turned out. I'd like to think they're willing to try again, hopefully with a (frankly) more interesting book this time. Like Prisoner of the Ant People or The Race Forever. Now that would be an interesting movie.

More reviews by Fireguard

Special Thanks:Thanks to Fireguard for the plot summary and to Ken G. for the cover scans.
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