How Coldplay Let ‘Abominable’ Use Their Song

Coldplay fans may want to check out the new Dreamworks Animation movie Abominable. The Coldplay song “Fix You” plays a pivotal role in the film. It may be considered a mild spoiler for when “Fix You” appears in the film, so here is your spoiler warning if you’d rather wait. For Coldplay fans who want to know more, here it is.

Chris Martin of Coldplay
Chris Martin of Coldplay | Santiago Bluguermann/Getty Images

Yi (Chloe Bennet) takes the yeti Everest back to his home on Mt. Everest. Along the way, they visit the Leshan Buddha, one of the spots Yi’s late father wanted to take her to. Yi plays her father’s violin at the Buddha so that they are emotionally there together, and that’s when Coldplay fills the soundtrack. Abominable writer/director Jill Culton explained why she used the Coldplay song and how she got it. Abominable is in theaters now.

Coldplay was on the soundtrack while Jill Culton was just writing

Culton said she listens to music while she’s writing, whether that music ends up in the film or not. 

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Dreamworks Animation’s Abominable | Dreamworks Animation LLC

“Sometimes I listen to songs,” Culton said. “Sometimes I listen to score. It helps me if I’m writing an action scene and I listen to score that’s an action piece, it helps you write to the pacing. I don’t know why, but if I’m listening to music I see images more. They just come into my head more so it’s always helped me in writing.”

Coldplay sang the emotion of the Leshan Buddha scene

The lyrics to “Fix You” struck Culton as relevant once she had Yi and Everest at the Leshan Buddha.

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Yi plays Coldplay at the Leshan Buddha in Abominable | Dreamworks Animation LLC

“When I got to that Leshan Buddha scene, I knew this was the place I really wanted Yi to lay her burden down,” Culton said. “The words of that song are, ‘Tears stream down your face when you lose something you can’t replace.’ The whole tear streaming down the Buddha’s cheek and all of nature grieving Yi’s loss.”

Coldplay speaks for Everest in ‘Abominable’

Everest is a non talking yeti, unlike those English speaking yeti in Smallfoot. This was the one spot where Culton allowed Coldplay to speak for him.

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Everest and Yi in Abominable | Dreamworks Animation LLC

“Then the lyric, ‘And I will try to fix you’ which is a Chris Martin lyric but you never hear Everest speak in the movie,” Culton said. “That is the one place that is almost like he’s saying to Yi, ‘I will try to fix you’ and pushes the violin towards her and urges her to play. I thought that song fit so well that we had it in our temp.”

How ‘Abominable’ convinced Coldplay

Culton had done a lot of work with “Fix You” before ever reaching out to Coldplay. By the time she’d used it in temporary cuts, she’d become attached to it. 

“Then when it came to actually getting the song, I thought for a moment, ‘What if we don’t get that song? I’m going to be devastated. It fits like a glove. It was written to that song,’” Culton said.

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Yi, Peng and Everest in Abominable | Dreamworks Animation LLC

All it took was showing Coldplay the movie to convince them. 

Chris Martin and his manager Phil Harvey were so generous,” Culton said. “They were like, ‘We never let people have this song but we love what you did with it.’ So they let us use it.”

The Chinese release of ‘Abominable’ gets a Coldplay cover

The English language version of “Fix You” had a slightly different reception in China.

“The cool thing is the Chinese audience was so into the movie and nothing pulled them out of the movie which was great until they got to the Coldplay song,” Culton said. “Then suddenly, here they are, totally steeped in China, feeling like this movie is made for them and then this American voice comes and it just pulled them out of the movie.”

In the final Chinese release of Abominable, a mandarin singer recorded a cover of “Fix You.”

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Yi plays the violin in Abominable | Dreamworks Animation LLC

“So we actually got permission to rerecord for China a mandarin version of ‘Fix You,’” Culton said. ‘A girl sings it so that was done just so that no audience would be pulled out by anything in this movie. That’s kind of special.”