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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

A couple weeks ago, we reported on the news that LAIKA’s next film would be moving over from Focus Features to Annapurna. Additionally, the vocal cast for this one would consist of such talents as Hugh Jackman and Zoe Saldana. However, what we didn’t get are any real details as to what the story would actually be. Now, the studio (who brought us such films as Coraline and ParaNorman) has announced what we can expect next.

Their next big movie is being called their “most ambitious film to date,” and it’s called Missing Link.

Missing Link is an artistic and technical wonder,” said LAIKA president and CEO Travis Knight. “Led by our visionary director Chris Butler, LAIKA has once again blended fine art, craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technology to achieve something we’ve never tried before: a raucous comedy entwined with a swashbuckling epic, underscoring the universal need to find belonging. Commingling keenly felt emotion, madcap humor, and retina-bursting visuals, Missing Link is a kaleidoscopic cinematic experience unlike any other. It’s the most striking thing we’ve ever done.”

Here is how the film is being described in the following way:

“The charismatic Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) considers himself to be the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters. The trouble is none of his small-minded high-society peers seems to recognize this. Sir Lionel’s last chance for acceptance by the adventuring elite rests on traveling to America’s Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature. A living remnant of Man’s primitive ancestry. The Missing Link.

Zach Galifianakis is Mr. Link: the slightly silly, surprisingly smart and soulful beast upon whom Sir Lionel’s dreams depend. As species go, he’s as endangered as they get; he’s the last of his kind, and he’s lonely. Proposing a daring quest to seek out his rumored distant relatives, he enlists Sir Lionel’s help in an odyssey around the world to find the fabled valley of Shangri-La.

Together with Adelina Fortnight (voiced by Zoe Saldana), an independent and resourceful adventurer who possesses the only known map to the group’s secret destination, the unlikely trio embarks on a riotous rollercoaster of a ride. Along the way, our fearless explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril, stalked at every turn by dastardly villains seeking to thwart their mission. Through it all, Mr. Link’s disarming charm and good-humored conviction provide the emotional and comedic foundation of this fun-filled family film.”

Directing this movie is ParaNorman‘s Chris Butler, who wrote and directed the flick.

“It was a constant source of delight to witness how our game and captivating cast imbued these larger- than- life characters with distinct personality,” said Butler. “Hugh lends Sir Lionel a giddy schoolboy enthusiasm bubbling beneath the surface of his suave English gent; Zoe brings an unflappable ardor and a witty playfulness to Adelina, and Zach’s performance as Link is not only laugh-out-loud funny, but a beautifully nuanced balance of innocence and vulnerability. It was a treat to be able to join this eclectic gang of adventurers on their journey across the world.”

In terms of its scope, the film required 110 sets and 65 unique locations, which goes to show just how big the scale of this one is. I, for one, am incredibly excited for what we’ll be seeing next.

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SOURCE: LAIKA

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.