In a time of constant computer generated features, Laika’s work feels like a tremendous breath of fresh air
Should the understanding of how difficult a piece of art was to make, impact on its final artistic value? For not everyone will know of the hardship and the difficulties overcome to produce a piece, and there is absolutely an argument that work should only be taken at face value. Yet, knowing the length of time it took to create Missing Link, especially when focused in on particular scenes, increases the appreciation of the piece exponentially, becoming an intricate feature to critique with a good balance between appreciation and enjoyment absolutely vital.
Desperate to join the ‘the society’, explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) is determined to make a great discovery with irrefutable proof, putting is name in the headlines of newspapers across the world. However, upon discovering Bigfoot, Sir Lionel realises his own quest must take a backseat, for the discovery of the unknown may possess an even greater reward than the one he had dreamed of.
Coming from stop-go animation company Laika, Missing Link is as visually beautiful as an animation has been for some time. Complete with its unique styling and wonderful Victorian England setting, Chris Butler’s second directorial feature is very much a visual marvel. As seen in Wes Anderson’s recent animations, and the long running work of Aardman studios, when stop-go is done well, the time consuming process produces results like little else. In a time of constant computer generated features, Laika’s work feels like a tremendous breath of fresh air.
Championing its simple story line, Missing Link follows a steady path rarely swaying from its vision. The side drama between Sir Lionel and love interest Adelina (Zoe Saldana) is somewhat different, and there’s an essential theme of friendship and loyalty pumping the charm of the film through the entire production.
Commandeering a wonderful climactic scene with an impossibly long production time, and genuine humour with an eye for witty dialogue, Missing Link is the soothing answer to a society wrapped up in politics and unnecessary drama. It becomes the euphoric piece the world (and especially Britain) needs right now, and delivering its messages and its vision as well as it does becomes the key, unlocking all of the potential a film as wonderful as this could become.