The time has come for my first animated movie review of the year… but it will most likely not be my last!
First and foremost, this is a cute little movie! It’s brilliant to see something other than Disney/Pixar getting some credit, and it comes in the form of Missing Link, which was produced by Laika Studios. (Their previous credits include Coraline and The Box Trolls, in case you weren’t aware).
What stems from the fact that this is not a Disney film means Missing Link manages to present us with a more unique, less overdone style of animation. From the way Susan’s fur moves to the brilliant shots of scenery the director chose to include, some of the visuals in this movie were breathtaking… which is strange, because they WEREN’T EVEN REAL VISUALS. I was actually so taken aback that I couldn’t help but point out every time a sliver of water moved or something looked pretty.
This is a movie which was also acknowledged at the most recent Academy Awards in the Best Animated Feature category. Unfortunately, it had to battle it out against blockbuster Toy Story 4, which it was never going to beat purely because it’s unlikely that most balloted voters had even seen any of the other nominees due to the titanic cultural phenomenon that Toy Story is. I’m certainly not saying that this was better than TS4 – it wasn’t – but it would be nice for someone else’s work getting a look in at some point. (Not since 2011’s Rango has a movie not affiliated with Disney/Marvel/Pixar claimed the gong, and only 4 other movies besides that have managed to pip the previously mentioned movie giants at the post).
But, what Missing Link brings is what most animated feature films aimed at young children do – a sense of heart, and embracing those who are different to us. What I particularly enjoyed was Laika’s avoidance of a romantic storyline. In fact, Zoe Saldana‘s character actually point blank friend zones the lead character voiced by Hugh Jackman at the last minute. And I appreciate that because it’s something different. There’s none of that “true love’s kiss” nonsense here.
I also have to give a quick shout out to the writers who chose to name the title character “Susan”. What is gender anyway? Sasquatches clearly don’t give a shit, so why should the human race?
On the whole, this was a good enough movie. I’d probably point some of my friends with children towards it (especially as there are a few more adult-aimed jokes in there), but for me it was just a fun way to pass the time.
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design: