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  • David WalliamsHugh Jackman...
  • AnimationComedy
  • Chris Butler
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Cairo 360
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Missing Link: The True Craft

Animation films can rely on advanced graphics and special effects but neglect the true craft of voice acting. Luckily Missing Link, despite its many flaws, excelled at the craft.

Missing Link follows ambitious explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) as he aims to prove the existence of the Sasquatch and become a part of a British institution for discovery. When Frost does find the Sasquatch, to his surprise, he can speak, is very kind, but is also very lonely. The Sasquatch (Zach Galifianakis), give the name Mr Link and later Suzan, asks Frost to take him to the Himalayas to find a Yeti society that he can belong to, but the journey proves to be much more difficult and dangerous than they thought.

The plot is entertaining but somewhat thin and shallow, not involving layers of emotion or depth, with the simple formula of a protagonist who has a goal and an antagonist who wants to stop them from achieving that goal.

However, the film’s biggest issue is characterisation; except for Mr Link, characters are very underdeveloped, do not have significant character arcs or changes throughout the film, and are driven by vague motives. The audience does not get too attached to the characters, feel much sympathy for them, or relate to them very much because of their underdevelopment, again, except for Mr Link.

What also adds to this issue is the fact that, while the animation is outstanding, it lacks when it comes to its character’s facial expressions, and therefore largely contributes to the lack of emotion from audiences towards the characters.

That aside, the animation is very colourful and incorporates several sophisticated aspects such as the use of highlights, reflections of light and vivid hues, as well as an intricate portrayal of vast, beautiful landscapes.

The voice acting attempted to make up for the lack of character development and other aspects of the film, and even if it didn’t quite get there, it was still remarkable. Hugh Jackman’s voice performance was outstanding. He employed his unique voice to the fullest, with solid intonation and expressive range. Zach Galifianakis and his character are perhaps the best thing about this feature. That is mainly because Galifianakis excelled at his voice performance, delivering all the information as well as emotions that the audience needed through his performance. Zoe Saldana voiced Adelina, an adventurer who tagged along, asserting she is not a damsel in distress but constantly called for help. Saldana’s performance was also very expressive but was let down by the animation when it came to the characters’ facial expressions.

Missing Link is a sweet film to take your kids to when you need a break, but there is a big chance that neither you nor your kids will remember it for long when it’s finished.

Like This? Try

Smallfoot (2018), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Ice Age (2002). 

360 Tip

The film takes place around 1886, as evidenced by the Statue of Liberty being nearly completed in New York Harbor.

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