From the studio that released the dark fantasy comedy horror film Coraline and the epic samurai action-adventure Kubo and the Two Strings, comes another spectacular animated movie, Missing Link, that will take Filipino viewers on a globetrotting heartwarming quest.
This 2019, stop-motion animation studio, LAIKA, returns with its fifth and biggest feature film to date which showcases its expertise in art, cutting-edge technology, and powerful storytelling with a heart. Written and directed by Oscar® nominated Chris Butler (Paranorman), Missing Link follows the cross-country expedition of Mr. Link, Sir Lionel Frost, and Adelina Fortnight in search of Link’s long-lost relatives in the valley of Shangri-La.
This original story marks LAIKA’s first-ever full-on comedy enveloped in a grand adventure, complete with exotic locations, vicious villains, and relatable themes of belonging, fellowship, and identity.
Butler describes Missing Link, “it’s a film about connectivity. It has a really potent emotional story at the core, and yet on the top of it we put this beautiful veneer of an incredibly exciting adventure and comedy. I thought that was a really exciting story to tell in animation.”
On top of directing, Butler also took charge of writing the script, designing characters, and creating the storyboard. Inspired by his love for Indiana Jones’ archaeologist, he set out to create his own ‘cryptozoologist’, a searcher not of mysterious artifacts but of mysterious creatures.
To give life to the characters of his imagination, Butler and LAIKA worked with a team of over 400 artists and technologists and explored new areas and techniques in stop motion. As the film takes inspiration from Victorian Era, art director Rob DeSue shares it is the most colorful movie the studio has ever made.
“With Missing Link, he (Chris) wanted a vibrancy and a saturation of color that we hadn’t done before. We also steered away from neutral color and black and white. Finding alternatives proved to be an exciting challenge,” says DeSue.
In terms of storytelling, voice actors Hugh Jackman (voice of Sir Lionel Frost), Zach Galifianakis (Mr. Link), and Zoe Saldana (Adelina Fortnight) share how much they loved doing the film for its profound message of acceptance and finding one’s place in the world.
“I signed on to do the film because of LAIKA’s love for storytelling. The movies they make all have a great message; they leave you with something inspiring and heartwarming. With Missing Link, it’s about finding your family, finding your true friendships, and finding the things that really matter in life,” says Jackman.
An Annapurna Pictures presentation of a LAIKA production, Missing Link opened in Philippine cinemas on April 10, 2019. Use #MissingLink to join the conversations online.