By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

From Laika animation studios (Coraline, ParaNorman, Kubo and the Two Strings) comes a new lovable and entertaining movie that is sure to keep both children and adults laughing and well-entertained. The adventure/comedy, Missing Link, has much heart and comedy to offer its audiences, but just doesn’t have the same level of magic and imagination that some of Laika’s previous have. Still, the talented and witty voice cast assembled for this new feature really helps this new animated film soar. It also helps that Laika has somer exceptional talents behind the gorgeous visuals and skillful animation that brings these lovable characters to life.

Hugh Jackman stars as the adventurous and roguish investigator, Sir Lionel Frost. Though Frost successfully discovers the Lochness monster, his lack of supporting evidence and his subject choices fail to earn him the respect he craves from jis snobbish colleagues. In a desperate attempt for acceptance, Frost decides to resume the work of his beloved mentor who once searched for Sasquatch. Using the clues and research left behind agter his mentor’s demise, Frost easily discovers an intelligent, but naive sasquatch who calls himself Mr. Link (Zach Galiafianakis). Isolated and lonely, Mr. Link promises to assist Sir Lionel, if the adventurer agrees to help him find his cousins in the north–the mythical creatures know as the Yeti.

Written and directed by Chris Butler, Missing Link is definitely a fun and entertaining comedic crowd-pleaser. The beautiful and superbly executed animation, the great comedic writing, as well as the outstanding work by the cast, make this a family feature not to miss. The story and journey might not be as magical and dynamic as other animated movies, but it is rather lovable in its own right.

Hugh Jackman is absolutely superb as the arrogant, self-involved Sir Lionel Frost. Though the adventurer is charming and courageous, he often is too concerned with his own goals to do what is right. Zach Galifiankis is sweet, joyful, and lovable as the innocent and awkward Mr. Link. Zoe Saldana also gives a solid performance as Adelina Fortnight, another explorer very interested in Frost’s latest endeavor. The movie also features impressive work by Stephen Fry, who portrays Lord Piggot-Dunceby, Sir, a rival of Frost who wantsd to see him fail. In addition, Emma Thompson performs well as the Yeti Elder, as does Timothy Olyphant who portrays bounty hunter Willard Stenk.

So even though I wasn’t exactly bowled over by Laika’s new movie, I still left the theater with a satisfied smile on my face. I don’t think this movie will win any awards next year, but I do think kids and their parents will probably add this one to their collection. Missing Link is another one of those comfortable and amusing movies that deserves love for its simple entertainment value.

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