Laika Studios took this year off, but everyone knew the stop-motion animated studio was not going to be gone for long. The studio behind “Kubo and the Two Strings,” and “Coraline” has established themselves as a strong animation factory of late. Telling stories with small casts, but large and epic adventures, they’ve really keyed into what draws audiences. While 2018 felt like a down year for animation, 2019 is shaping up to be a very strong one. Laika helps to kick off the year with “Missing Link,” a story about a sasquatch creature. Today we got our second trailer for the adventure film, and the biggest takeaways revolve around Zach Galifianakis and Hugh Jackman. You can watch the trailer below.
The plot of “Missing Link” follows Susan (Galifianakis), a sasquatch-style creature that is the last of his kind. He writes to a famed adventurer Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman), who sees finding Susan as his latest challenge. When the two come face-to-face, Susan asks Frost to accompany him to the find the Yetis. Frost agrees, and the two set out on an adventure.
While the story feels focused on our two main characters, Laika finds ways to draw out character moments from small ensembles. In “Kubo,” the trio of Kubo, Beetle and Monkey was extremely effective at creating emotional beats. Here, Galifianakis and Jackman have clear comedic beats to hit, but the story revolves around friendship and adventure. The gorgeous vistas and complex production design show why Laika continues to expand the categories that an animated feature can be nominated for. After the success of “Kubo,” “Missing Link” has a lot of hype to live up to. With a year that already features “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Toy Story,” and “Frozen” films releasing, an original animated film feels welcome.