Missing Link

The Plot:

Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) is less a scientist and more an adventurer, traversing the world in search of mythical beasts extraordinaire!

After being rejected once again by Lord Piggot-Dunceb (voiced by Stephen Fry) and his Society of Explorers, Frost vows to succeed in the face of defeat.

Answering a letter regarding the location of “Sasquatch – the missing link,” Lionel embarks upon a dangerous journey. A trek that will either make or break his career and teach him the true meaning of success.

Kent’s Take:

“Missing Link” is the next creation from Laika, the production company that brought us the mesmerizing “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

This somewhat family-friendly film is oriented more toward 10-plus year-olds and holds less for adults. The simple story (self-centered man meets beast, beast helps man “evolve”) is strong enough to sustain a feature length film, but doesn’t quite offer the complexity of Laika’s previous films. There is also a surprising amount of mild violence as main characters actually die in the film.

“Missing Link” is also cute and charming. Adults and children will laugh throughout and the beautiful set production and puppets will enthrall viewers.

The dialogue is witty and snappy creatively fueling the narrative.

If there is a weakness it is Mr. Link – the main focus of the story. Link seems to always have interesting characters buzzing about him, yet he himself is rather uninteresting. He is not very funny, certainly not captivating and is exactly mediocre.

Timothy Olyphant’s dastardly Stenk is menacing and funny. Stephen Fry’s Lord Piggot-Dunceb is superbly sinister. While Jackman’s Lionel Frost is likably self-absorbed offering audiences a small herd of memorable characters.

The animation style (stop motion) is remarkable. The detail by which this production creates its puppets and environments will stagger the average viewer.

The themes are tamed for younger viewers. Lionel and Link both want to belong in all the wrong places: Link with Yeti’s and Lionel with a stuffy scientific club. Lionel continues to put himself first before others until a “wild” Sasquatch changes his view.

“Missing Link” is a bright, entertaining lark through Victorian era exploration as Lionel and Link connect for an adventure of a lifetime.