“Missing Link” stars Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Timothy Olyphant, Emma Thompson, and Zach Galifianakis. Released on April 12, 2019, the film is about an investigator who sets out to prove the existence of a legendary creature.
The film is written and directed by Chris Butler, who also directed “ParaNorman”. There have been tales about a mysterious creature that hides deep within the woods. No one was able to prove its existence, but this man was able to pull it off just fine. This latest stop-motion animated feature from Laika represents the scenario in which the creature actually exists. It was one of the animated films of 2019 that I was looking forward to because of Laika’s impressive track record in terms of the animation and storytelling. While it doesn’t look like it’ll top “Kubo and the Two Strings” as my favorite film from the animation studio, it has the potential to be another charming hit for kids and adults alike. So how does this one fare compared to Laika’s other works? Let’s find out.
After offering an effective, yet surprisingly dark, story in the form of “Kubo”, the folks from Laika decided to craft a story that is simple, cute, and adventurous for the little ones and their parents. The result is “Missing Link”, a gorgeous-looking piece of stop-motion art that often lands into familiar territory, but has enough humor and charm to make this quest a real treat for all ages. Yes, unsurprisingly, it didn’t reach the same heights as “Kubo” in terms of its storytelling. The film didn’t offer anything fresh to its plot and there were a couple of scenes that can be a bit slow for some kids who prefer frenetic CGI cartoons. However, those things didn’t stop me from appreciating the story’s entertainment value and the film’s thoughtful message about the importance of friendship over fame. The characters were also very likable in the film, and the voice cast did such a great job with their vocal performances, especially Zach Galifianakis as Mr. Link, the legendary Bigfoot. The best part about Mr. Link, in my opinion, was his personality, which comes off as humorous and lovable rather than annoying and torturous. The animation has always been the tape that holds Laika’s films together ranging from the detailed designs to the remarkable visuals, and I’m happy to say that “Missing Link” is now part of that list. It’s colorful, nicely-detailed, and downright beautiful. Exactly what I expected from a stop-motion film from Laika.
Overall, “Missing Link” is a wondrous discovery that’s far from a myth. Thanks to its entertaining plot, its brilliant animation, and charming characters, this is another win for the stop-motion team behind “Coraline” and “Kubo”. Sure, it can be simplistic and predictable at times, but when the film has that type of appeal that’s irresistibly joyful, it’s easy for me to put those minor issues aside and just enjoy the ride. I would recommend this one to fans of stop-motion animation as well as families who are waiting for the next big animated kids film like “The Secret Life of Pets 2”.