While LAIKA may not be a box office juggernaut like Pixar or Illumination, it has quickly gone on to be one of the most respected studios within the industry. More than almost any other studio, they tend to make incredibly personal stories with a handcrafted feel to them. In an age where pure CG animated movies are the standard, it’s a breath of fresh air to see something a bit more tangible — and it certainly helps that the storytelling they employ is topnotch as well.
The next movie set to hit theaters later this year is Missing Link. The film introduces us to Susan, a mild-mannered Sasquatch (Zach Galifianakis), and his adventuring companion Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman). While the tone based on the trailers feels about as light as one could expect, don’t let it fool you into thinking its production was a total walk in the park. In fact, as it turns out, the movie is LAIKA’s most ambitious movie to take.
LRM Online‘s Gig Patta had a chance to sit down with director Chris Butler to discuss the movie, and when we asked him whether or not the technological advancements had made this movie easier than previous projects, Butler couldn’t help but laugh:
“No. I mean, I say no because with technological improvements, you get more license to do more stuff, so you end up making life harder for yourself.”
“I’ve said many times that we wouldn’t have been able to make this movie 10 years ago. The scope and the scale of it would have been unachievable in this medium. But because of all the things we’ve learned in the last four movies, we felt confident we could make it. But it was HARD. We had set ourselves a very ambitious goal, and it’s BIGGER than all the movies we’ve made before. More puppets, more sets, more locations.”
Gig then asked why they’d decided to go with such an ambitious project instead of something a bit more comfortable, and interestingly enough, it sounds like their decisions had nothing to do with them actively trying to push themselves or the stop-motion medium:
“I might do two characters stuck in an elevator. That may be my next one (laughs). I don’t think it was a conscious decision to make something big. I just really liked the story, and it felt like, now we can make this. We had the ability to make this, whereas in the past, we probably wouldn’t.”
In an age where most everything is created in a computer, it’s nice to see other forms of animation take center stage every so often, and knowing all the hard work that goes into it helps me to appreciate it on a completely different level.
Will you be checking out Missing Link in theaters? Let us know down below!
And be sure to keep an eye out for our full interview with Butler!
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SOURCE: LRM Online Exclusive