The animation cinema seems to have discovered the Bigfoot. After Nelly and Simon: Mission Yéti and Smallfoot, it’s Missing Link’s turn to go on an adventure to try to prove the existence of this legendary creature.
As with its predecessors, it is children who are at risk. The feature film is dotted with touches of hilarious humour, in the tradition of the slapstick, and it will make you smile instantly. After a somewhat laborious entry, the rhythm returns and the action flows in waves. The outbursts are so numerous that it is rather difficult to bayer with crows. If we add a charming and irresistible beast…
The older ones will feel familiar with this predictable plot that celebrates the virtues of family and friendship. Tributes – at Indiana Jones, Around the World in 80 Days – are in a good mood, although adults may find the whole a bit too didactic and superficial (The critique of Victorian society is hardly elaborated). At least, filmmaker Chris Butler had the presence of ideas to sprinkle his screenplay with some avant-garde ideas, including the luminous one allowing the main character, identified as masculine, to choose a female name.
This does not mean that the film will be modernized. In fact, Missing Link claims its antiquated side, both narratively and aesthetically. By opting for a technique of frame-by-frame animation, the story turns its back on the so-called revolutionary technologies – which can be found in How to Train Your Dragon – to focus on the essential.The soul must not be tangible and dependent on visual and sound prowess, but exist by itself. Moreover, it is palpable within these neat drawings, with assumed style.
For their fifth animation, Studio Laika aims for entertainment at all costs, the one that could possibly compete with the Pixar and Illumination Entertainment of this world.However, there is a great risk of losing one’s identity, distilled in a unifying project and too kind. Missing Link will not mark minds like the sublime Coraline and it does not possess the emotional depth of Kubo and the Two Strings. It is rather between the funny Paranorman (Chris Butler was also directing) and the most random The Boxtrolls, passing a pleasant moment without revolutionizing anything. This is the perfect interlude between two larger cartoons like Miraï, my little sister and Ville Neuve.