Stop-Motion studio Laika’s latest film, Missing Link, delivers everything you could want and more.
Laika has become well known for their imaginative and beautiful stop-motion animated films over the past ten years. Each film had received acclaim from critics and audiences, and the studio has taken home numerous awards for their efforts. Their latest release, Missing Link, is no different. The film centers on Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), an ambitious investigator of the strange who dreams of joining the “Society of Great Men.” Lionel embarks on a quest to find a real life Sasquatch in an effort to prove to his advisory Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Stephen Fry) that he belongs in the “Society.” When he find the Sasquatch, who takes the name Susan Link (Zach Galifianakis) they embarks on an adventure alongside Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana) to find Mr. Link’s Yeti relatives in the Himalayas.
While Missing Link is undeniably a comedy, and likely the most straightforward comedy of all of Laika’s films, the movie does a fantastic job of exploring different types of comedy throughout. There’s elements of an adventure comedy, as the trio of heroes travel across the globe. The film occasionally dips into a buddy comedy element with it’s relationship between Susan and Lionel. There’s even times where it leans into a sort of romantic comedy in terms of the relationship between Adelina and Lionel. Yet with all of the weaving in and out of different sub genres, the film never feels off balance. It constantly takes small queues from these different types of films, and uses them to build a wonderfully hysterical film that brings joy from beginning to end.
The film is a true love letter to the idea of happiness, and how the journeys we take as we chase our dreams can bring us the happiness we believe is attainable by succeeding in said journey. It also reminds us that just because we’re told that we are given a label by the world, doesn’t mean we need to stick to what that label is. We can be great people without being told we’re great. We can live a normal life even if we’re a little bit different. We all have the ability to choose who we want to be and what we want to do. All we have to do is be willing to make that choice.
As expected, the animation in Missing Link, is incredibly beautiful- with plenty of shots in the film being worthy to hang in a museum. The music is whimsical and yet heartfelt. The character designs, and the production design is not only wonderfully imaginative, but immersive. There are moments where our heroes are travelling through forests and mountains, and you can truly feel the scope of the world. It’s an amazing feat considering the scene is created from a set that sits on a table likely the size of my living room. The beauty and craftsmanship put into his film is without a doubt remarkable. It’s proof once again that the team at Laika, including writer-director Chris Butler, are some of our best filmmakers working today.
Missing Link is currently available to stream on Hulu.
Written by Alex Lancaster
(Alex is a life long film fan, and has dedicated his life to watching, making and obsessing over films. His favorite film is Big Fish, and he despises Avatar. He has a 5 year old son. And a bad habit of saying more than he needs to. Follow @alex5348 on Twitter)