Laika, the Portland-founded stop-motion animation studio, announced its fifth film, Missing Link, on May 8 at the Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Oscar nominee Chris Butler (ParaNorman), it stars Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, and Zach Galifianakis.
The film follows an underappreciated investigator of myths and monsters named Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Jackman) in his search for the Missing Link, a legendary, Sasquatch-like creature believed to live somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
That creature is Mr. Link (voiced by Galifianakis), a lonely, sure-to-be hilarious beast living in total isolation. In a quest to find the beast’s rumored distant relatives said to be living in the fabled valley of Shangri-La, Mr. Link enlists the help of Sir Frost and Adelina Fortnight (voiced by Saldana), an adventurer who holds the only known map to their destination. The journey they embark on is filled with family-friendly peril and adventure.
“Missing Link is an artistic and technical wonder,” Travis Knight, Laika’s president and CEO, said in a press release. He described the film as “a raucous comedy entwined with a swashbuckling epic, underscoring the universal need to find belonging,” adding, “It’s the most striking thing we’ve ever done.”
Laika, known for the mind-boggling scope and intricacy of their multi-scale stop-motion films, created 110 different sets for the Missing Link. The stuio's last release was 2016’s Oscar-nominated Kubo and the Two Strings.
“It’s only now with our fifth film that as a team we have the experience, the know-how and the collaborative confidence to even attempt a movie of this size and scope,” said producer Arianne Sutner (ParaNorman, Kubo and the Two Strings) in the same release.
Missing Link isn't set for U.S. release until spring 2019. While you're waiting, you still have time to check out the Laika exhibit Animating Life at the Portland Art Museum through May 20. And while you're at it, you might want to read our story about Deborah Cook, Laika's costume designer, who dresses tiny puppets for the big screen.