As with most animated films from LAIKA Animation Studios, “Missing Link” is a smarter-than-your-average cinematic cartoon dump. This sweet tale of friendship and adventure delivers the quality audiences have come to expect, but may prove boring to the little ones.
Fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost (voice of Hugh Jackman) traverses the globe searching for the world’s most elusive creatures. He’s recently found the Loch Ness Monster but is always seeking another risky undertaking. This time, the adventure comes to him in the form of a letter from Mr. Link (voice of Zach Galifianakis), an 8 foot tall sasquatch who needs help on a journey from the Pacific Northwest to Shangri-La to find his long-lost relatives, the yeti. The two men enlist fellow adventurer Adelina Fortnight (voice of Zoe Saldana) to help them in their perilous voyage to the far reaches of the world.
The story is none too thrilling, but it isn’t the plot that should draw you to this film. It’s the LAIKA calling card of delightfully dated yet somehow modern-feeling stop-motion animation. It’s terrific here and once again, is an outstanding display of creativity. The characters are likable, from the confident and courageous Sir Frost to the charmingly literal Mr. Link. The actors chew up the material with great pleasure.
“Missing Link” is a cut above typical family-friendly entertainment because it’s brainy in a way that will please both adults as well as kids. The humor isn’t slapstick or stupid, and the vocabulary goes well beyond a first grade reading level. Recommended for those who enjoy and respect animation as a true art form.