Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Missing Link in 300 Words or Less

It's understandable that Laika would swerve towards a goofier spot on the animated totem after the relative artiness (I say with awe-struck admiration) of the studio's last feature, the gorgeous and moving Kubo and the Two Strings -- any animation studio doomed to repeat itself churns out nothing but shrieking time-fillers, cough cough. Bring on the pratfalls and poop jokes! That said I'll admit the breezy tone and boisterous colors of the trailer for Missing Link put me off at first -- I worried my beloved Laika might be selling out, especially alongside the weird small flood of Bigfoot and Bigfoot-adjacent animated movies hitting all of a sudden. Might Laika has misstepped? Truly a fool's query at this point in time -- of course they didn't. 

Missing Link is a rich strange and funny addition to their now classic roster, full of enthusiastic action sequences set against stunningly rendered backdrops -- the adventure seeking Sir Lionel Frost struts and strides across the globe, picking up his sidekick the sasquatch in (barely) disguise Susan along the way, and every environment, from the stuffy smoke-rooms of a quasi-Victorian London to the desert west to the hard sharp off-white peaks of Tibetan majesty ring with glorious detail; from the craquelure of shattering icicles to the hump-headed lake monsters lolling eyeballs down to the thousands upon thousands of seamless facial expressions making these folks crackle and pop, Missing Link is magic. Even when you're not simply dizzied by the world-best skill on display you're tickling your funny bone with split pants puns. It's yet another enchanted everything - we are, to put it mildly, not worthy.

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