Missing Link (2019 film)

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Missing Link
Missing Link 2019 poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChris Butler
Produced by
Screenplay byChris Butler
Starring
Music byCarter Burwell[1]
CinematographyChris Peterson
Edited byStephen Perkins
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
  • April 7, 2019 (2019-04-07) (New York City)
  • April 12, 2019 (2019-04-12) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes [2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$102.3 million[3]
Box office$26.2 million[2]

Missing Link is a 2019 American stop-motion animated adventure comedy film written and directed by Chris Butler. It is produced by Laika and features the voices of Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, David Walliams, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Timothy Olyphant, Amrita Acharia, Ching Valdes-Aran, Emma Thompson, and Zach Galifianakis. The plot follows a Sasquatch who, with the help of an English explorer, travels to the Himalayas to meet his Yeti cousins.

Missing Link premiered in New York City on April 7, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on April 12, 2019 by Annapurna Pictures through United Artists Releasing. Although it was a box office flop, grossing just $26 million against its $102 million production budget and forcing a write-down of $101 million, the film received positive reviews from critics, who praised the animation and light-hearted standards compared to other Laika works.[4] It won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film,[5] making it the first non-computer animated film to win in the category, and the first non-CGI film to win a Golden Globe since Waltz with Bashir (2008).[6] It also received a nomination at the 92nd Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Toy Story 4.[7]

Plot[edit]

In 1886, Sir Lionel Frost, a struggling investigator of mythical creatures, has continuously searched for different creatures to study and announce their presence in the world, which would allow him to be accepted into the "Society of Great Men," which is led by Sir Lionel's rival Lord Piggot-Dunceby. Lionel receives a letter acknowledging the presence of a Sasquatch, making a deal with Piggot-Dunceby that would allow him to join the society if he proved that the creature was real.

Lionel travels to the Pacific Northwest, eventually stumbling upon the Sasquatch in a forest. After dubbing him "Mr. Link," Lionel is told by the Sasquatch that he was, in fact, the one who sent the letter. Mr. Link requests Lionel's help in finding his relatives, the Yetis, in the Himalayas. Lionel agrees to help him but is unaware of the fact that Piggot-Dunceby has hired a bounty hunter named Willard Stenk to track Lionel and kill him, ensuring that the pro-imperialist conservative views of the society remain unchallenged.

Lionel's old lover Adelina Fortnight has a map to the Himalayas locked at her house in Santa Ana, California, in a safe that belonged to her late husband, one of Lionel's past partners, so the two visit her mansion to acquire it. However, Adelina harbors resentment for Lionel missing her husband's funeral and kicks him out when he offers to pay her for the map. Lionel and Mr. Link come back later at night and break-in, but Mr. Link's noise-making awakens Adelina, and the safe eventually falls out of the top floor window, cracking open in the aftermath. Mr. Link and Lionel grab the map and escape but are discovered the next day by Adelina, who allows them to search for the Yetis as long as she is there to accompany them. Stenk arrives, and a shootout ensues, but the trio tricks their pursuer into hopping on the train to search for them.

The trio makes their journey via boat, and Adelina pressures Lionel into reaching out to Mr. Link to prove his sincerity. Lionel enjoys a heartwarming talk with Mr. Link on the boat's deck, where Mr. Link gives himself the name "Susan" after a friendly prospector he once encountered. However, they are once again ambushed by Stenk. After various scuffles across different parts of the ship, the trio eventually locks Stenk in the boat's boarding rooms while they make another escape.

The trio eventually makes their way to the Himalayas and is pointed in the direction of the Yeti temple, and led to their Queen, who reveals their secluded valley to the group. She then reveals their disdain for mankind extends to Susan, who's interacted closely with them. They throw the trio in a pit for them to stay until they die. Susan gives Adelina a boost, and she knocks down a few Yeti guards, allowing them to stack them and escape. They run across the ice bridge, where an armed Piggot-Dunceby and Stenk are waiting at the center of the bridge. Lionel denounces his rival's pride and defends Susan as more human than the society ever will be. As a result, the insane Piggot-Dunceby starts firing his rifle at the ice bridge to kill the trio, until Susan stops Piggot-Dunceby from getting any further, still causing it to crack and break. Piggot-Dunceby and his assistant Mr. Collick fall to their deaths while the trio and Stenk make a run for it. They are too late and are left hanging on the edge of the destroyed ice bridge. Stenk, who has made it all the way across, taunts Lionel, which leads to the two engaging in a slapping fight while hanging on the bridge. The trio works together to rid themselves of Stenk, who falls to his death after an icicle breaks and falls on him. Lionel appoints Susan as his new partner in investigations, who starts blowing a raspberry at the Yeti leader.

After arriving home, Adelina tells Lionel that she will be adventuring on her own for a while and departs, but not before the pair share a brief mutual acceptance of their feelings for each other. Susan and Lionel arrive back at the latter's work-space and begin their next case to find Atlantis. After they leave, the end credits reveal maps and souvenirs of their subsequent adventures.

Voice cast[edit]

  • Zach Galifianakis as Mr. Susan Link, a self-conscious, gentle Bigfoot searching for his relatives.
  • Hugh Jackman as Sir Lionel Frost, an ambitious and rash but well-meaning myths and monsters investigator.
  • Zoe Saldana as Adelina Fortnight, a fiercely independent, plucky and conscientious adventurer, and Sir Lionel's former girlfriend.
  • Stephen Fry as Lord Piggot-Dunceby, the arrogant, snobbish, selfish, prideful, insane head of the "Society of Great Men", and Sir Lionel's rival.
  • Timothy Olyphant as Willard Stenk, a bloodthirsty bounty hunter hired by Lord Piggot-Dunceby to stop Link/Susan and Sir Lionel's quest.
  • Emma Thompson as Dora the Yeti Elder, the paranoid, secretive leader of the Yetis.
  • Amrita Acharia as Ama Lahuma, a mountain guide who Link/Susan, Sir Lionel and Adelina meet and leads them to the Yeti temple.
  • Matt Lucas as Mr. Collick, Lord Piggot-Dunceby's neurotic right-hand man.
  • Ching Valdes-Aran as Gamu, Ama's grandmother and a Yak Herder.
  • David Walliams as Mr. Lemuel Lint, Sir Lionel's former assistant.
  • Humphrey Ker as Doorman, General Pugh
  • Adam Godley as Lord Bilge
  • Neil Dickson as Mr. Roylott
  • Ian Ruskin as Lord Scrivener
  • Matthew Wolf as Lord Ramsbottom
  • Darren Richardson as Alfie
  • Alan Shearman as Lord Entwhistle
  • Jack Blessing as McVitie the Conductor.
    • This film is Blessing's final film role, his voice role having been recorded before his death in 2017.
  • Richard Miro as Ricardo

Old Worlders voiced by Leila Birch, Jean Gilpin, Peter Lavin, Tom Muggeridge, Jimmy Hibbert, David Holt, Christopher Neame, Moira Quirk, Maebel Rayner, Alexander Rodriguez, Julian Stone, and Nick Toren.

New Worlders voiced by Kirk Baily, David Beron, William Calvert, David Cowgill, Kerry Gutierrez, Bridget Hoffman, Scott Menville, Erin Myles, Juan Pacheco, Paul Pape, André Sogliuzzo, and Scott Whyte.

Himalayan villagers voiced by Phal Tong Lama, Yangchen Dolkar Gakyil, and Tharlam Dolma Wolfe.

Production[edit]

On April 25, 2018, it was announced that Laika had begun development on "Film Five," a new animated film written and directed by Chris Butler and starring Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, and Zach Galifianakis. The film was set to be distributed by Annapurna Pictures in the United States.[8][9] On May 7, 2018, it was announced that the film had been titled Missing Link and that additional voice actors would include Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Ching Valdez-Aran, and Amrita Acharia.[10][11]

Production was reportedly underway by May 2018 with Laika's artists having constructed over 110 sets with 65 unique locations for the film.[12]

Release[edit]

The film was released in the United States on April 12, 2019 by United Artists Releasing, Annapurna Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's joint distribution company, making it Laika's first film not to be distributed by Focus Features.[13][14]

Internationally, the distribution rights to the film were acquired by AGC International, who pre-sold the movie to distribution companies like Lionsgate UK,[15] Metropolitan Filmexport (France),[16] Entertainment One (Spain)[17] and Buena Vista International (Latin America and Asia).[18][19]

Home media[edit]

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the film in the United States on digital on July 9, 2019 and Blu-ray & DVD on July 23, 2019.[20]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Missing Link grossed $16.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $9.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $26.2 million.[2] Deadline Hollywood calculated the net loss of the film to be $101.3 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.[3]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Little, Hellboy, and After, and was projected to gross around $10 million from 3,314 theaters in its opening weekend.[21] However, after grossing $1.6 million on its first day (including $230,000 from Thursday night previews), it went on to debut to $5.9 million, finishing ninth at the box office and marking the 12th-worst opening for a film playing in over 3,000 theaters, the worst opening for a film playing in over 3,150 theaters, and the lowest start for a Laika film ever.[22] In its second weekend the film dropped 27% to $4.4 million, finishing ninth.[23]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 89% based on 168 reviews, with an average rating of 7.17/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Another beautifully animated triumph for Laika, Missing Link is a visual treat with lots of humor, plenty of heart, and even a little food for thought."[24] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 68 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[25] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 81% and a "definite recommend" of 63%.[22]

Peter Debruge of Variety wrote: "Sooner or later, Laika was bound to branch out, which makes this funnier, more colorful film the link previously missing between the company's Goth-styled past and whatever comes next."[26] John Nugent of Empire Magazine praised the film, calling it "a charming family-friendly story about adventure and friendship—told with bar-raising artistic craft and technical skill. We'd expect nothing less from Laika."[27]

Accolades[edit]

Award nominations for Missing Link
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result
Academy Awards[7] February 9, 2020 Best Animated Feature Chris Butler
Arianne Sutner
Travis Knight
Nominated
Annie Awards[28] January 25, 2020 Best Animated Feature Arianne Sutner
Travis Knight
Nominated
Animated Effects in an Animated Production Eric Wachtman
David Horsley
Peter Stuart
Timur Khodzhaev
Joe Strasser
Nominated
Character Animation in a Feature Production Rachelle Lambden Nominated
Directing in a Feature Production Chris Butler Nominated
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Nelson Lowry
Santiago Montiel
Trevor Dalmer
Nominated
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Julián Nariño Nominated
Oliver Thomas Nominated
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Stephen Perkins Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards[29] January 12, 2020 Best Animated Feature Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[30] January 5, 2020 Best Animated Feature Film Chris Butler and Arianne Sutner Won
Producers Guild of America Awards[31] January 18, 2020 Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards[32] December 9, 2019 Best Animated Film Missing Link Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards[33] January 29, 2020 Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Brad Schiff, Travis Knight, Steve Emerson, Benoit Dubuc Won
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Rachelle Lambden, Brenda Baumgarten, Morgan Hay, Benoit Dubuc (for "Susan") Won
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Oliver Jones, Phil Brotherton, Nick Mariana, Ralph Procida (for "Passage to India Jungle") Nominated
Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project Todd Alan Harvey, Dan Casey, Katy Hughes (for "The Manchuria"") Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Carter Burwell Scoring LAIKA's 'Missing Link'". Film Music Reporter. October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Missing Link (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 27, 2020). "The Biggest Box Office Bombs Of 2019: Deadline's Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Ryan Fujitani (April 11, 2019). "Hellboy Fails to Catch Fire". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  5. ^ "Winners & Nominees 2020". www.goldenglobes.com. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  6. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 6, 2020). "Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson Join Laika's 'Missing Link' (EXCLUSIVE)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Your everything-but-Disney guide to the Oscars' Best Animated Film nominees". EW.com. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (April 25, 2018). "Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis Starring in Animated Film From Laika". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 25, 2018). "LAIKA Sets Next Animated Pic 'Film Five' For Annapurna Release". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  10. ^ Mendelson, Will (May 8, 2018). "Laika's 'Missing Link,' featuring all-star cast, to hit theaters spring 2019". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  11. ^ Hopewell, John (May 7, 2018). "Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson Join Laika's 'Missing Link' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Patterson, Adam (May 8, 2018). "Laika's Next Film is THE MISSING LINK". Film Pulse. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  13. ^ Galuppo, Mia (February 5, 2019). "MGM, Annapurna Team for Distribution Label United Artists Releasing". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  14. ^ Pedersen, Erik (June 28, 2018). "'Missing Link': Laika's Zach Galifianakis-Hugh Jackman-Zoe Saldana Toon Gets Release Date From Annapurna". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  15. ^ Clarke, Stewart (June 13, 2018). "Hugh Jackman Animated Feature 'Missing Link' Acquired by Lionsgate U.K."
  16. ^ "MONSIEUR LINK | AFCAE". www.art-et-essai.org.
  17. ^ "Entertainment One | Mr. Link. El origen perdido". Entertainment One.
  18. ^ "'Missing Link': Sets The Pieces and Nearly Completed It". April 20, 2019.
  19. ^ E.D, Publicado por. "SR LINK, la nueva película del estudio LAIKA llega a los cines argentinos".
  20. ^ "Missing Link Blu-Ray". Blu-ray.com.
  21. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (April 9, 2019). "Will 'Shazam!' Still Fly High With 'Hellboy' at Its Heels at This Weekend's Box Office?". TheWrap. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  22. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 14, 2019). "'Shazam!' To Hit $100M Before Friday; 'Little' Mighty With $15M+; 'Hellboy' Extinguished; 'After' Works Overseas – Sunday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 21, 2019). "Lowest Easter Weekend At The B.O. Since 2005 Despite $26M Purse Of 'a Llorona' – Saturday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  24. ^ "Missing Link (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  25. ^ "Missing Link reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  26. ^ Debruge, Peter (3 April 2019). "Film Review: 'Missing Link'". Variety (magazine).
  27. ^ Nugent, John (3 April 2019). "Missing Link". Empire (film magazine).
  28. ^ "47th Annie Awards" (Press release). Annie Awards. December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  29. ^ "25th Critics' Choice Awards" (Press release). Critics' Choice Awards. December 8, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  30. ^ "Golden Globes: What to Make of '1917' and 'Rocketman' Wins, 'Irishman' and JLo's Losses". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  31. ^ Vary, Adam B. (January 18, 2020). "PGA Awards Winners: Complete List". Variety. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  32. ^ "2019 San Diego Film Critics Society's Award Nominations". December 9, 2019.
  33. ^ Huff, Lauren (January 29, 2020). "The Lion King reigns at 2020 Visual Effects Society Awards". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 30, 2020.

External links[edit]