When moviegoers think of hit animated features they tend to think of the likes of Disney or Dreamworks. However,for me, I tend to get excited from the latest work of Laika. The successor of Will Vinton have made a name for themselves with their stop motion animation, and they have proven to be successful with features such as Coraline, ParaNorman and Kubo and the Two Strings. So naturally I was thrilled to see Laika’s latest venture, Missing Link, making its way to theaters. Directed by Chris Butler Missing Link brings out the lighter side of the animation studio while playing with the concept of mythical beasts. While it did not appear to be the most captivating of animated movies Missing Link looked to be an entertaining time, and after seeing it for myself it turns out that the new animated feature was just that.
Missing Link centers on adventurer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) who helps a sasquatch he calls Mr.Link (Zach Galifianakis) find a new home in the hopes to document the new discovery. The story of Missing Link was simplistic but that was to be expected. When it comes to its narrative the story was an enjoyable adventure that never tired despite a predictable plot points. Along with its keen sense of adventure the plot’s themes featured an understandable, if not typical, moral. Truthfully there were few surprises in this adventurous story, but even though it may not have been the most enticing of plots it was still a tale full of excitement and delight.
The cast of Missing Link is not an extensive one but it was effective nonetheless. The three main characters made for a compelling trio but their individual traits lacked in certain areas. In the case of Lionel his character was understandable but he could be inconsistent in his progression. As for Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana) she was a good addition and had good chemistry with Jackman’s Lionel, but there was little to her character as she was more of a voice of reason then anything else. Then there was Mr.Link who was an enjoyable character in his own right. While he could be bumbling fool, the sasquatch had plenty of character to him;and his interactions with Lionel made the duo an enjoyable pair. If there was one thing that Mr.Link lacked it was a stronger development in his story. While it parallels well with Lionel’s progression, the development of Susan lacked focus as well as relevance to the overall film. Along with this fair trio was a supporting cast that plenty of character to it. Whether it was Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant or Emma Thompson the supporting characters were appropriate as they brought a lot of charm to this zany cast.
When it comes to animation Laika never disappoints as its stop motion has been as stylish as it is fluent. This prove to be the case for Missing Link. The film’s animation was not just colorful but executed beautifully as it featured one of the studio’s best sequences to date. Along with the festive animation was the movie’s good sense of humor. The movie’s comedy had plenty of wit to it as I found myself chuckling throughout the entire movie. The music by Carter Burwell was fitting as it reflected the movie’s sense of adventure.
It was not hard to uncover the mystery behind Missing Link. The film is as much a adventure as it is a comedy, and it manages to blend both aspects well. It does not feature the strongest of stories,or characters for that matter, but the movie makes up for it by having an exciting narrative and great performances. Rounding things out was none other than the animation which gave the movie a keen sense of presentation. Missing Link may not be the strongest addition to Laika but it does live up to their standards by being a delightful animated feature with as much charm and style to satisfy this Film Adventurer.