Missing Link 2019 ****

Laika’s homemade ethos has, like Aardman, won over the hearts of many critics, and yet there’s little sign of a Disney/ Dreamworks-style audience share. Missing Link’s delightful parody of an old-school adventure story fell on deaf ears with audiences, and that’s a great shame. Hugh Jackman emphasises the plumiest of tones as Sir Lionel Frost, an explorer seen initially getting the hump from the Loch Ness Monster. Without an assistant, Frost travels to America to seek Bigfoot, only to find the creature to be far more urbane and literate than he imagines. Voiced by Zach Galifianakis, Mr Link, or Susan as he prefers to be known, is a solitary and lonely creature, and begs Frost to unite him with his distant cousins, the yeti. To make the journey, a treasure map must be obtained from Adelia Fortnight (Zoe Saldana) and various varmints also stand in the way. Writer/director Chris Butler’s film is slight, but swims against the current in terms of dialling down the action and keeping the stakes small and personable. Missing Link is a lovely film for children of all ages, right down to the cheerful end credits song by Walter Martin.

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