Directed by Chris Butler. Animation by Annapurna Pictures. Voices of Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, David Walliams. Length 94 minutes. Rotten Tomatoes 89%
Missing Link shows that Laika Entertainment, the producer together with Annapurna Pictures, deserves to be ranked among the best of contemporary animation companies. Its last film, Kubo and the Two Strings, was excellent, and the other films (Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls) are not far behind.
Chris Butler, an English-American storyboard artist, directed and wrote the script for Missing Link. It is far more light-hearted than the earlier films, which uses stop-motion animation with CGI backgrounds brilliantly. The swaying of an elephant in the middle of dense jungle is marvellously done. The detail of clothing is incredible.
The characters and plot of Missing Link are just as good as the technical side. in 1886 Sir Lionel Frost is a handsome, brave and somewhat egotistic explorer who regards himself as the world’s leading investigator of mythical creatures. He decides to track down the Sasquatch, in America’s Pacific Northwest, thinking that it could be “the missing link” between apes and humans. And, surprise, surprise, he finds a Sasquatch, 8 feet tall, 630 lbs, and covered in fur – but it is nothing like what he had imagined. Mr Link requests Frost's help in finding his relatives, the Yetis, in the fabled Himalayan valley of Shangri-La.
The story becomes an epic journey across the world in which the characters, with their different personalities and objectives, become fast friends
Unfortunately, the action flags a bit, but the winsome humour, in the tradition of Frank Capra, more than redeems the film. There is also a bit of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.
Terrific fun for the whole family.
Jaume Figa i Vaello is a reviewer for Aceprensa. Contact him on @jaumefv. Republished with permission.