Summary: Mr. Link recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, this trio of explorers travel the world to help their new friend.
Cast and Characters.
Zach Galifianakis as Mr. Link. He is the last Bigfoot in his respective area, and he’s reached out to Lionel to help him search for relatives. Mr. Link is very gentle and innocent and of course doesn’t understand certain human-isms even though he is very intelligent due to all the books he’s collected and read. His character is very sweet, and you root for him throughout the film. I mean, he’s harmless, which shows when he ends up having to fight right after his meeting with Lionel and his expression the entire time is like “umm, I’m a lover not a fighter” lol. I think Zach G. is funny most of the time and his unassuming voice fits this character and his comedic timing is good. I laughed quite a bit at him.
Hugh Jackman as Sir Lionel Frost. He’s a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones. He’s a bit self-involved as he searches for myths and monsters to prove his worth to a Monster Hunter Society, or something like that. He’s English so we get some nice British humor in there and he does say some narcissistic things that don’t always come off as obvious narcissism which made me laugh. I think Hugh Jackman was a great choice for this role, I could see him playing this role in live action… it was so weird lol.
Zoe Saldana as Adelina Fortnight. She has an old connection with Lionel, which is why he seeks her out, hoping their connection would work in his favor. But she is fierce and free-spirited and goes on the adventure with Mr. Link and Lionel. She often acts as Lionel’s conscience throughout the film. She never backs down from anything which makes her a good partner for Lionel and she really grows to care about Mr. Link that she often must put Lionel in his place. I also love her no-nonsense attitude. Zoe Saldana has great energy for the part, I was a little distracted by the fact that I could see her also playing this part in live-action and not the fact that her character was animated lol.
Supporting Characters. There are a lot of supporting characters we encounter in this little adventure. Honestly, all the voice acting is good. Stephen Fry as Lord Piggot-Dunceby. Timothy Olyphant as Willard Stenk (honestly, he was great, he got a lot of chuckles out of me). Emma Thompson as the Yeti Elder (She has great lines!)
It’s Funny. I laughed quite a bit through this movie. I was a little surprised honestly at how much I cackled. I think all three of our leads get great, humorous lines. I love a lot of Adelina’s lines and Zoe Saldana’s delivery. Jackson and Zach G. were also great. I think Timothy Oliphant’s character though made me laugh a lot because the voice, his look and the things he does, that always got me lol.
The Animation. I love Laika and their animation is always beautiful and unique to me. Each one of their movies: Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings) all have such great animation! It might be a little weird but it’s their style and I love it. That’s why I wanted to see this one because all their movies have been great and I think this one, while not their best, it’s still good and right in their realm. The stop motion puppetry is always handled with such care. First, the way Mr. Link looks, and moves is quite cool, not to mention, their action sequence at the end was animated in a great and fun fashion as well.
Has a Lot of Heart. This is a cute and fun adventure film but there is a lot of heart under all the shenanigans. All our main characters learn something over the course of the film. Some of the lessons learned are lessons that anyone can learn, and I think it’s handled in a simple way where it’s not so easy to learn but where it’s not beat in over the head throughout the film. That can get annoying. But I think it earns it in a sweet way in this film. It’s cute.
Might Be Boring. I don’t think younger kids would be interested in watching this. A lot of the humor might go over their heads. I mean, there’s physical humor so that might be okay, but the lines may not land for them. Plus, there’s a lot of traveling places and talking so I can imagine it not holding everyone’s attention. I do acknowledge that it did lose some of my attention a few times.
Overall, I liked this movie. It’s cute, it’s fun, the characters are funny. The voice acting is good, especially from our lead actors. I really thought that Jackman and Saldana particularly embodied their characters that the entire movie I was like “okay, this isn’t animated, this is real life lol”. Zach G. is also sweet and innocent in this film. The adventure is fun, and I like the lessons learned by each character by the end of the adventure. It has a lot of heart. Not to mention, the animation is so great! Laika has another beautifully animated film on their hands! My only big issue with this movie is that it might not keep your attention all the way through. I feel like kids may not quite enjoy it the way older kids or even adults would. A lot of the jokes might not quite land and while it’s fun it’s like a roller coaster, where it goes up and down with stuff happening and then characters talking. Otherwise, I think it’s a good addition to the Laika films.
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars. I know I only have one con for it but my score is because I liked it but it wasn’t one of the better Laika films so I can’t quite give it a 4.
Have you seen The Missing Link? What did you think about it?
Which Laika film is your favorite? For me, it’s Kubo and the Two Strings.
This is my personal list of the best films of this year. I loved all of the movies on this list, or really liked them, and recognize they are good films. This list is my opinion, it’s alright if you don’t agree. There were a lot of movies I liked this year so this list took a while to get down to ten but that’s why I have honorable mentions lol. I haven’t seen everything that came out so some things aren’t on here unfortunately. Click HERE for my worst list.
Also, not every film on this list I did a review for, but the ones I did, I will put a link.
Honorable Mentions:The Jungle Book, The Neon Demon, Kung Fu Panda 3, The Lobster, Eye In the Sky, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
My Top 10 Best Films of 2016
10. The Boy and the Beast
I didn’t do a review for this film, but this is an anime film. Chris Stuckmann said it best it’s like Karate Kid with anamorphic animals. A human boy finds this world, he doesn’t have a relationship with his father and he ends up becoming the apprentice to this bear like man. It’s so beautifully animated, the characters are fantastic, and while they’re not all “good people” I think they’re all likable to the point where you can’t help but feel connected to them. Especially Ren, the main character. I loved his relationship to his mentor, it came off antagonistic a lot but you could tell they cared about each other. It’s very emotional and heartfelt but I do think it’s very interesting, especially the third act. It’s kind of weird but it’s great.
I loved this movie, but it was so under the radar that I don’t think many people saw it. However, I loved the cinematography, I thought the direction was great because it felt like I was actually there alongside Brandon trying to get his shoes back. Oakland looked real. I thought Jahking Guillory did a great job holding his own in this role, I hope to see more from him in the future. The story is a bit basic but the journey this character takes over something that seems so trivial is amazing because in this world, those shoes mean something to him. I also loved the idealism of the astronaut being there. It’s a very unique film.
8. Swiss Army Man
I actually debated with myself a lot about doing a review for this one but I ended up not doing it because it’s so hard to get my thoughts out about it. But it’s so good. It’s weird, believe me it’s weird, but Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe work so well together, it’s hilarious, it’s emotional and kind of sad in many areas but it’s also kind of uplifting. The music is FANTASTIC, probably one of my favorite elements about the film. The cinematography is so crisp and clear. Definitely check this one out.
I think is a great character study film. Between Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, the talent and emotion explodes from the screen. August Wilson is a fantastic writer and these characters are complex human beings. Outside of a few editing choices, I think the direction is great, I loved how the camera would sometimes view the characters from a window, or through the tree branches, or through the fence… it was amazing. I do think it was a bit wordy but the words are magical, they build these characters up in ways that allows them to be understood. All of the characters are interesting people. Viola Davis though, she’s a powerhouse.
I don’t think it’s any surprise that this is on my list because I adore Disney. The music. THE MUSIC! The animation! The visuals! Moana and Maui BOTH are so great characters! The voice acting, Auli’i and Dwayne were both so good here. THE MUSIC! The animation! This is classic Disney, sure the story is basic but the wrapping is amazing because while we’ve heard the story before, the culture used, the way the story is told, the music used to tell it is all so new. Disney needs to keep moving forward like this, new cultures and have the voice actors be people who mirror those characters.
This film was very necessary in for comic book films. I do believe it’s a great film and the experience in the theater was so fun that it’s unforgettable. This is definitely something that’s rewatchable over and over again. I think it was necessary because so many comic book movies could have been rated R, should have been rated R but of course ya know, general audience and stuff. But Deadpool IS and that helps the future of these films, they shouldn’t be so scared anymore. PLUS, Ryan Reynolds owns this role, the inclusion of Colossus and NegaSonic Teenage Warhead was great, their chemistry together and then their chemistry with Wade is gold. The humor, the opening scene ALONE is gold. I loved it. I had such a great time, I don’t think I laughed so much at a superhero movie in forever.
I looooove this movie. Laika is amazing! The animation in this film! Look at the picture! Look at it! The main three characters are absolutely amazing and so interesting. Kubo is your “hero” of course, but he’s a storyteller who uses magical origami to tell them. His instrument is the object in which he uses to channel his magic. He embarks on a quest to find a magical armor and the journey is so much fun. Along the way we meet Monkey and Beetle whose relationship is so humorous, playful and sometimes antagonistic but they work together because they both end up caring about Kubo. The eyes are so very important in this film and the animation and design, spectacular. Also the music. Wow. I saw this movie earlier in the year and I have not forgotten about it. I think it’s one of Laika’s best films and one of the best animated films I’ve seen.
First of all, I love the MCU, I love superhero films and this is one of the best. What Marvel Studios has done is create this world, and these characters where they are so likable, relatable and so emotionally grabbing that in this film, there is no way (unless you are just soo biased) that you do not flip flop sides or at least understand where the other is coming from. I am unwavering Team Cap BUT the script was so well written in terms of this rift in the Avengers that I could not believe that I was understanding Tony’s side (unlike the comics where he’s just a douche). Both Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. do so well. The inclusion of Black Panther and Spider Man were stellar choices, they weren’t underused or overused and it helps continue to build this world. The film was funny but it was also emotional. The action scenes are top notch, the airport scene and the end fight between Cap, Bucky and Tony was so gut-wrenching that I almost cried. There are a few plot elements that are questionable but I do believe it was handled very well here. This is my second favorite Superhero movie ever and it’s definitely one that I would watch quite often.
The way I feel about Zootopia… such a clever film. Very different from what Disney usually gives us and I loved it. I think Zootopia has a lot of hidden gems. Judy and Nick are great interesting characters, they both are very different and work so well together. Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman were great in these roles. The music is nice and the song is catchy, the animation is beautiful, the world created in this film is expansive. There is so much more than can explore, I hope they do. It’s hilarious, that slot scene gets me every time, it’s emotional, I think I’ve cried each time I’ve watched it. The underlying message is relevant and I don’t think they do it in a manipulative way. I think they handled it for an animated film with class. I personally think it’s more for adults than for kids but kids will enjoy it and I think adults will appreciate what it’s saying. A definite must watch.
I actually flip flopped between this and Zootopia for a while. If you’re a musical lover, this film is for you as it’s a love letter to musicals but more importantly, it’s a love letter to those people who are dreamers. Starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling who have such great chemistry together, this film highlights those people who go out in search of their dreams but they also have to figure out their lives as well. Will they follow their dreams and rule out love or will they try to have both? Is it possible to have both without one being pushed back. The music here is so beautiful, all of the songs are original and I think they’re so dreamy. The cinematography is beautiful. I have never been to L.A but I think this film make it look so… lol grand. The characters are also very well written, it’s impossible to dislike either Mia or Sebastian, and I think it’s impossible to not understand them. You have to. If you’re not a fan of musicals, that’s alright because this film is not a song every second, nor is it just random singing, it has a purpose. It fits with the story, it propels it forward and honestly, it’s not like there’s a ton of singing in it. But the music, dancing, singing is a character in itself. La La Land is a feel good movie and as a dreamer, this is my favorite film of the year.
I hope you enjoyed this list. If you agree, let me know in the comments below, same if you don’t. What films of the year do you have on YOUR list? There is a lot I missed this year but I also think I did a great job in what I saw lol. If you haven’t seen any of these, please check them out! Also, check out my blog for other reviews!