Last weekend, I had a chance to preview “Missing Link” at a local movie theater with my two younger children — 11-year old Caleb and eight-year old April.
The stop-action movie follows Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman,) a wealthy adventure-seeker who’s obsessed with finding mythical creatures. When he gets a letter telling him of a possible Sasquatch in the wilds of Washington state, he skeedaddles out there, only to discover that the person writing to him was…the Sasquatch himself (voiced by Zach Galifianakis.) The creature, known as Mr. Link, proposes a deal — he’ll provide Lionel Frost with proof of his existence so the explorer can be accepted into the exclusive Optimates Club at home, and Lionel will help the loveable furry creature find the home of the Yeti so he can live among the last of his kind. Of course, things are not that simple.
They must first steal the map to guide their journey from Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), Lionel’s former girlfriend. And they must evade a hitman, sent by the president of the Optimates Club who does not want Lionel admitted on any account.
The movie was heartwarming and funny and a great delight. It does have cartoon violence and very sensitive, very young children could get worried during the fight scenes. However, the animation is excellent and the scenery is beautiful. The characters are strikingly created, and details like the ruffle of Link’s fur, and the splash of water in a running brook, are very realistic. The movie was funny, and the message at the end — that family and community are where you create it — was a great one for kids.
It was also the perfect length, which for some reason not all children’s movie-makers seem to understand. Whose kid sits through a two-hour movie? Not mine, I can tell you that much. But, of course, what we really want to know is what the kids thought of it.
My eight-year old gave it a five out of five and said it was one of her favorites. My 11-year old elaborated a little more. “Are you going to review this movie and tell people what we think? Tell them this: great voice cast, great visuals, and very funny.”
Missing Link opens Friday, April 12. It’s rated PG and runs 95 minutes.