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‘Missing Link’ (review)

Produced by Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner
Written and Directed by Chris Butler
Starring Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana,
Emma Thompson, David Walliams,
Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas,
Amrita Acharia,  Zach Galifianakis

 

Missing Link, the new stop-motion animated film from Studio Laika, is an adventurous treat to see. The studios that brought us Coraline, ParaNorman, and Kubo and The Two Strings once again proves that making a great movie with a great story shouldn’t be too hard as ling as you have heart and soul.

Missing Link tells the tale of wannabe famous explorer and adventurer, Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) as he does his best to prove to the most prestigious adventuring society in London that he has what it takes to join their ranks.

His successful quest for the Loch Ness Monster ends as a failure when his proof is destroyed and his membership denied. He is then contacted anonymously by someone in America to help discover the Sasquatch (Zach Galifanakis), or so he thinks. What follows is a heartfelt tale of discovering not only what it is to be human, but a journey for both Sir Lionel and the Sasquatch to figure out where they both belong and who they really are.

For a “kids movie” Laika Studios and writer/director Chris Butler (ParaNorman), takes on a lot of serious ideas of where we belong, who we are and what does it mean to be accepted by ones peers. Ideas BOTH adults and kids struggle with on a daily basis. We see it in the news and in our lives.

Once again, the filmmakers tackle these themes with aplomb and in a way that not only the kids will understand but I think will resonate with the adults that see it as well.

The thing I love about Laika Studios is that they aren’t treating the audience as dummies. They never talk down to them or pander to them either. Their films are a statement of “We understand what you are going through because we have been through it or are going through it as well.” I appreciate that and will continue to support and love their films as long as they make them with the same heart and soul that they have brought to the screen in ALL their films.

Missing Link is a joy to watch and I hold it in the same esteem as I do all the other films in the Laika pantheon. Funny, heartfelt, exciting and charming, Missing Link is a film everyone can enjoy and make their day brighter. I can’t recommend it enough.

 

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