Missing Link: A Sasquatch Cartoon

(L to R) Sir Lionel Frost voiced by Hugh Jackman, Mr. Link voiced by Zach Galifianakis and Adelina Fortnight voiced by Zoe Saldana in director Chris Butler’s MISSING LINK, a Laika Studios Production and Annapurna Pictures release. Photo Credit : Laika Studios/Annapurna Pictures

Missing Link is the newest addition to the Sasquatch Cinematic Universe and finds our west coast friend feeling lonely and wanting more.

After a mission to find proof of the Loch Ness monster goes spectacularly awful, Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) finds himself on a new quest.  This one comes as a response to a letter from someone.  This someone believes that they know where to find the Sasquatch.  Or as we otherwise know them: Bigfoot.  Frost hopes that this finding means he can take his place in the Optimates Club.  The exclusive club is reserved for adventurers and explorers.  This is a guy who believes that he won’t truly have made it until joining the club.  For Frost, this is not going to be easy.  Club head honcho Lord Piggot-Dunceb (Stephen Fry) brings on a hit man to stop him.

Frost journeys to Washington State, where he comes in contact with Sasquatch, who he renames Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis) as a way of fitting in with the general populace.  Frost believes that Mr. Link is somewhere along the evolution timeline between ape and mankind.  Lord Piggot-Dunceb, on the other hand, chooses not to catch up with science.  He’d fit perfectly fine in the current presidential administration.  But this is probably enough talk about science although Lord Piggot-Dunceb would probably be opposed to the idea of climate change!  Okay, I digress.  Let’s get to the film at hand!  When Mr. Link confesses of being lonely and wanting to go to Shangri-La, Frost knows just the person.

This brings the duo to Santa Ana in hopes of Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana) turning over her late husband’s map.  Frost and Fortnight have a previous relationship that probably complicates matters here.  What results is a handful of comedic moments before she presses them into letting her tag along.  Pressure from the aforementioned hit man does not make this journey any easier.  Before we know it, the trio is on their way to Shangri-La.  It’s a win-win for everyone.  They can finally discover the home of the Yeti while Mr. Link–now Susan–can live with his Himalayan cousins.  Or so they believe.

While the Bigfoot–Mr. Link is seen as male, it’s fascinating that Bigfoot wishes to be known as Susan.  Yes, this is a female name and yes, Zach Galifianakis voices Mr. Link/Susan.  After they reveal the name preference, the film accepts it.  There is certainly a history behind the name preference if it means anything.  Susan has something to do with the Bigfoot’s past and now I don’t know which gender to use.  Is Bigfoot male or actually non-binary?  A male Bigfoot certainly would not want to be known as Susan.

The addition of a hit man seems like an unwise idea for an animated feature.  Even though the film is rated PG, there’s a small amount of violence.  You can place the blame on Willard Stenk (Timothy Olymphant).  The worst of the fighting mostly takes place during a bar in the Old West.  I guess it really depends what people are comfortable in letting their children see on screen.

The stop-motion animation in and of itself isn’t bad here.  Ray Harryhausen would be proud!  It’s not out of this world in any sense but it’s not anywhere close to being awful either.  The Yeti are animated in a way that’s different from that of Smallfoot.  They also come off as meaner than the earlier portrayal.  I told you earlier that this film is the newest addition to the Sasquatch Cinematic Universe!

Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Sir Lionel Frost falls along the lines somewhere between that of Indiana Jones and Sherlock Holmes.  With the way that the film finishes, I won’t lie in that I kind of found myself wanting to see more.  Crazy, right?  Together with Mr. Link, the duo make for quite the odd couple in a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles kind of way.

Missing Link feels like it could very well be an animated film in which the great Laurel and Hardy could have starred in.  Or any other great comedy duos for that matter!

CAST:  Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, Amrita Acharia, David Walliams, Ching Valdes-Aran, and Zach Galifianakis

Annapurna Pictures and Laika Entertainment will open Missing Link in theaters on April 12, 2019. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.