Don Reviews "Missing Link"
Growing up in Montana, there have been more than a few Bigfoot sightings in my area, and I even know someone who swears they saw one themselves. There has always been a debate as to their existence or not with both arguments on both sides. From one side, it is difficult to believe they exist due to a lack of photographic evidence, but on the other hand, if they feast on animals in the forest, why is there no remains? From more of a kid-friendly point of view, “Missing Link” deals with this on a certain level.
“Coraline” and “Corpse Bride” director Chris Butler enlists the voice talents of Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis, Zoe Saldana, Timothy Olyphant, and Stephen Fry to tell the story of Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman), who in 19th Century England is a disgraced explorer who tries to redeem himself after getting a tip that proves the existence of a sasquatch. If he can find the creature, he feels he can gain back the favor of his fellow explorers, led by Lord Piggot-Dunceb (Fry). He finds one in Washington State (Galifianakis), whom he names Mr. Link and cannot only speak clear English but is also the one who sent the tip. They make a deal where Mr. Link will help Frost get back in with his fellow explorers if Frost will get Mr. Link to the Himalayas in order to be with more creatures of his kind. Piggot-Dunceb gets wind of this and sends gunman Stank (Olyphant) to stop them in order to further embarrass Frost.
This film has the same type of stop-motion action that Butler has used before, in that style of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. The color scheme really worked well being brighter in the happier moments and darker in the more somber ones. The work put in by the animators shows in very smooth movements by the characters very nicely as well. The lead voice talent matches their characters well to the point that I did not realize Galifianakis was Mr. Link until after the film was over. Olyphant, however, did not work for me as a cowboy style of outlaw as it felt forced and annoyed me (which is strange given his past work on “Justified”), but everyone else worked well.
“Missing Link” is just over an hour and a half, and that works well for the script. The storyline may be a bit more than the younger kids can follow, but it does have a good message focusing on relationships. There are some dark points to it, but it works when it has to. This is a good family film, so I will recommend it as a matinee showing at the theater.