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Film Reviews Delightful and droll Missing Link represents an evolutionary step in animated film

Mr. Link, voiced by Zach Galifianakis, in director Chris Butler’s Missing Link.

Annapurna Pictures / Courtesy of Elevation Pictures

  • Missing Link
  • Written and directed by Chris Butler
  • Featuring the voices of Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis and Zoe Saldana
  • Classification G; 95 minutes

rating

Although it might sound like a lost web address to today’s computer-savvy youth, Missing Link is a delightful and polished stop-motion adventure-comedy and droll comment on colonialism.

Victorian-age Londoner Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) is a sort of Sherlock Holmes, specializing in exploring, tea-drinking and mythical beasts. His nemesis is Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Stephen Fry), a “poppycock”-saying fogey who sneers at Sir Lionel’s quests and who “stands by all that is civilized.” Quick as you can say “the game is afoot,” Sir Lionel is on the trail of an ape-like Sasquatch (Zach Galifianakis), who he finds rather easily.

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Turns out the beast is amiable, guileless and evolved – he reads, writes and wishes to be called “Susan” – but also lonely. He seeks the company of the Yeti, the giant Himalayan snow-creatures that he regards as relatives. Off they go to a Shangri-La, with Sir Lionel’s estimable ex-lover Adelina (Zoe Saldana) rounding out a trio hounded by a Lee Van Cleef-y thug. The cold-weather civilization they seek is not lost, however, but hidden from those who would ruin it.

Fun and progressive, Missing Link represents an evolution in the art of animated film.

Missing Link opens April 12.

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