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.