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I'll make sure the yeti's out. You are never going to escape again.
~ Dr. Zara

Dr. Zara is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' 37th full-length animated feature film Abominable. She is a poacher who wants to capture the titular Yeti and Yi's arch-nemesis.

She was voiced by Sarah Paulson, who also played Dr. Ellie Staple in Glass, Ally Mayfair-RichardsSally McKenna, and Wilhelmina Venable in American Horror Story, and Mary Epps in 12 Years a Slave.


She is a manipulative woman and is able to make others believe that she is good. She also has an unhealthy obsession with capturing the Yeti.

She is also highly intelligent and is a very skilled poacher. All her kills are rare creatures, as she does not think normal animals are worth the effort. She is also a skilled zoologist and knows a lot about animals. She uses her knowledge to capture rare creatures, and then kill them. 


A young yeti escapes from a compound owned by Burnish in Shanghai, who wants to prove the Yeti's existence in the world. Yi, a Chinese girl and violinist, lives a hectic and busy life with her grandmother and widowed mother, which in turn neglects spending time with her family. She is friends with football fanatic Peng and tech savvy Jin.

One evening, Yi encounters the titular Yeti near her house on the roof of her apartment building, which she names "Everest." While hiding him from Burnish Industries' helicopters, Yi gains his trust by feeding him and treating his wounds. Yi learns that Everest wants to reunite with his family on Mount Everest while Everest learns about Yi's desire to travel across China. When Burnish Industries' private security forces closes in on Everest' hiding place, Everest flees with Yi. After narrowly escaping a Burnish helicopter at the Oriental Pearl Tower, Yi and Everest flee on a ship carrying red cola cans, followed by Peng and a reluctant Jin.

Yi, Everest, and the boys reach a port in southern China and travel on a truck. After their crate falls off the truck, they end up in a forest. There, Everest impresses the humans with his mystical powers of stimulating growth among blueberry plants.

Meanwhile, Burnish and Zara continue the hunt for Everest. Following Everest and his human friends' trail, they catch up with them in the Sichuan region but Everest uses his power to cause a plant to grow to a gigantic size. While Yi, Everest, and Peng manage to escape on the wind-blown shoot, Jin is left behind and captured by the Goon Leader.

Jin learns that she is planning to hunt down and kill the yeti for medical research. He also learns that the seemingly cold–hearted Mr Burnish has a soft spot for animals including Dr. Zara's pet jerboa. Meanwhile Yi, Everest and Peng reach the Gobi Desert where they befriend several tortoises, who gratefully accept their giant shoot. Later, they travel to a town on the banks of the Yellow River but Burnish Industries corners them. Peng helps them escape by unleashing a yak stampede. With the help of Jin, they escape across the Yellow River to a field of yellow flowers, which Everest causes to blossom to gargantuan sizes.

Continuing their journey, the humans and Everest eventually reach the Himalayas. While crossing a bridge, they are trapped on both sides by Burnish Industries' forces. However, Mr Burnish experiences a change of heart after seeing Everest protecting the children; causing him to experience a flashback to his first encounter with the yeti which was protecting its young. Seeking to exploit Everest for scientific research, Dr Zara injects Mr Burnish with a tranquilizer before tranquilizing Everest as well. When Yi tries to protect Everest, Dr Zara throws her over the bridge. Burnish Industries then departs the mountain with the captive Everest, Peng, and Jin in tow.

However, Yi manages to cling on to a rope. She then uses her violin, which Everest has magically repaired, to summon ice which reinvigorates Everest, who breaks free of his cage. Everest violently roars at Dr. Zara and her accomplices, jolting them to run away in terror. Dr. Zara, along with the Goon Leader, then flees in her snowmobile and climbs down the mountain, intent on killing Everest. Dr. Zara makes a last-ditch attempt to kill Everest, as soon as she rams the young yeti over with a snowmobile, seemingly killing him. Dr. Zara proudly thinks that she has won, and then she and the Goon Leader believe that they have accidentally hit the mountain and smashed the ice covered in it and realize their mistake too late. At first the ice breaks, but as it triggers an avalanche, both Dr. Zara and the Goon Leader were dragged off the mountain by the avalanche and get killed in a self-triggered avalanche. It is unknown if they survived the avalanche or not, but they are never seen again in the movie after this.



  • Dr. Zara is the first animated role in Sarah Paulson's career.
  • Abominable was released in the same year that Glass was made, where Sarah Paulson plays that film's main antagonist Dr. Ellie Staple.
  • Brunish was thought to be the main antagonist of the film, with Dr. Zara as the secondary antagonist who reforms in the film. However, it was revealed to be the other way around; Zara was the true antagonist of the film because she had bigger plans than anyone else.
  • Zara is one of the few DreamWorks Animation antagonists to die.
  • Dr. Zara is the seventh DreamWorks Animation character to be a female antagonist after Mrs. Tweedy from Chicken Run, Eris from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, the Fairy Godmother from Shrek 2, Chantel DuBois from Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Ms. Grunion from Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Chef from Trolls.
    • She is also the first female antagonist in a Pearl Studio film.
  • She is Irish American but puts on a fake British accent.
  • Dr. Zara has some similarities to Claire Wyden in Rampage, since both are businesswomen bent on killing a giant beast for their own gain.
  • When Zara took off her glasses and let her hair down after tranquilizing Brunish, her appearance seems to resemble Merida from Disney/Pixar's Brave, particularly her hairstyle.


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Animated Features

Dr. Zara

Live-Action Movies

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