review by Bobby Blakey
LAIKA has been delivering some of the best and most beautiful animated films in years including The Boxtrolls, Paranorman, Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings. Their latest feature Missing Link looks to keep the streak alive featuring a great voice cast including Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Timothy Olyphant, David Walliams, Emma Thompson, Matt Lucas, Ching Valdes-Aran, Stephen Fry, and Amrita Acharia. Could this be yet another great film to add to the LAIKA archive or should it have stayed missing?
Missing Link introduces us to Mr. Link: 8 feet tall, 630 lbs, and covered in fur, but don’t let his appearance fool you… he is funny, sweet, and adorably literal, making him the world’s most lovable legend at the heart of Missing Link, the globe-trotting family adventure from LAIKA. Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, our fearless trio of explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world to help their new friend. Through it all, the three learn that sometimes you can find a family in the places you least expect.
I have loved everything LAIKA has done so this one instantly went to the top of my list of films I wanted to see and as expected did not disappoint. As with all of their films it offers up unique and memorable character designs that instantly grab your interest. The bizarre choices of body structures and features is captivating and always a thing of beauty that makes them stand out as something new and original. They always offer up such amazing artistry in their stop motion animation with so much insane detail that you are sucked right into this strange little worlds to perfection.
The entire cast do an excellent job with Galifianakis bringing so much innocence to Mr. Link that you can’t help but fall in love with him. Jackman brings his usual charisma to the role of Frost that makes for a multilayered character that is engaging and flawed. My personal favorite was that of Olyphant’s character of Stenk who is not only visually cool but also just a crazy fun character to watch in action. Every time he steps onto the scene madness occurs in the best way possible.
I love this movie and it is jam packed with laughs, heart and emotions that will take you on a great adventure you won’t soon forget. I continue to be amazed with what LAIKA pulls off and appreciate them sticking to this style of filmmaking that is becoming a lost art form. Get out there and support this fun feature, you will not be disappointed.
In addition to the film this release includes bonus content including commentary, gallery, and numerous featurettes that take you behind bringing this film to life. Join the search for Mr. Link when Missing Link available now on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.