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Missing Link (2019)


Missing Link is a stop motion animated film that won a Golden globe and has an Oscar nomination. It comes from Laika, creators of Kubo, Boxtrolls, Paranorman, and Coraline. Laika continues to dazzle audiences with brilliant visuals and touching stories.

Adventurer Sir Lionel Frost pairs up with ‘missing link’ big-foot Mr. Link (Susan), and former lover, Adelina Fortnight. Hugh Jackman voices Frost, with Zach Galifianakis and Zoe Saldana voicing Link and Fortnight. Their journey revolves around finding Mr. Link a new home with his distant relatives the Yeti of the Himalayas. He is the last of his kind in the Pacific Northwest. On the way, Frost learns that he should care for other people with not so gentle nudging from Fortnight. Mr. Link learns that family doesn’t need to look like you and Fortnight gains her sense of adventure once again.

Mr. Link can understand English from his extensive reading. The movie relies on jokes throughout based on Mr. Link’s inability to understand sarcasm, as you would expect from his educational background. The jokes are funny for more than just children, so it should keep the entire family entertained. Plenty of slapstick humor is also included.

I identify stop motion animation with Wallace & Gromit. That animation feels crude compared to the work of Laika. The animation is breathtaking in Missing Link. It is truly amazing what Laika is visually achieving. The journey around the world lets the viewer explore so many different worlds. The movie moves from Loch Ness to the Pacific Northwest, frontier California to nighttime ocean squalls, jungles of India to the Himalayas. Each location has its color pallet. It is worth pausing the movie to observe the level of detail. They do skip over the middle east and jump right from Alexandria Egypt to the Jungles of India. It was an abrupt transition relative to the rest of the journey and I am not sure why it was done.

The story in Kubo and the Two Strings was better than Missing Link and the box office numbers show it. Missing Link had heart, but it didn’t draw me in as much as Kubo. Missing Link benefited from Kubo’s success and had a massive $100 Million budget. This is the most beautiful stop-motion film I have seen. The story is a bit of a letdown relative to the visuals and audiences figured that out with a weak performance in theaters.

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