Adventure Animation

Blu-ray Review: ‘Missing Link’ is a Charming Tale of Unlikely Friendship

July 26, 2019Ben MK

Given all the advancements in computer animation nowadays, you have to admire a studio such as Laika. For although their films do incorporate state-of-the-art animation techniques to some degree, by and large they are still created the old-fashioned way — with good old stop-motion magic.

Laika's latest, Missing Link, sticks to the same tried-and-true formula, telling the story of a 19th century British adventurer who forms an unlikely bond with a creature he never expected to meet. Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) has used his substantial family inheritance to fund his career as a seeker of mythical beasts, a quest that has only won him the disrespect of his colleagues. But when Lionel receives an anonymous letter beckoning him to America with the promise of finding the elusive Sasquatch, he can't resist the possibility of making the discovery of a lifetime. Little does he realize, however, that what he'll come face to face with isn't some wild beast, but rather an articulate creature (Zach Galifianakis) who only wants some help finding his long-lost cousins — the Yeti.

What follows is just as charming and as thoroughly engaging as Laika's previous movies, easily winning the hearts of audiences and earning Missing Link a spot beside such contemporary animated classics as Coraline, The Boxtrolls, Paranorman and Kubo and the Two Strings.

Missing Link arrives on Blu-ray sporting handsome 1080p visuals and an effective 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix. Colors are vibrant and the crystal-clear picture quality is perfect for showcasing the film's handcrafted nature, whether these characters are trekking through the lush, green forests of the Pacific Northwest or climbing icy peaks in the Himalayas. Meanwhile, the sound design shines through equally nicely, with the sound of trains, barroom brawls and mountain-top winds adding an air of believability to the animators' efforts.

Elevation Pictures' two-disc Blu-ray release includes a digital copy, a DVD copy of the film, and the following special features:

  • Animation Inspiration (3:43) - A montage of scene comparisons, artwork and behind-the-scenes footage, with optional commentary by writer/director Chris Butler.
  • Creating Mr. Link (1:23) - A look at the visual design and puppetry techniques involved in bringing the movie's title character to life.
  • Oh What a Mystery: Pulling the Camera Back on Missing Link's Magic (2:23) - A montage of timelapse footage showing the animators at work.
  • Making Faces (0:46) - A short piece highlighting some of the character faces created for the film.
  • Bringing the Final Battle on the Ice Bridge to Life (1:45) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie's climactic set piece.
  • Inside the Magic of Laika (2:46) - A look at the painstaking work that goes into making a stop-motion animated film.
  • VFX Breakdown Reel - Realizing the Potential of Stop Motion (6:05) - VFX Supervisor Steve Emerson hosts this look at the various stages of work and artistry that go into composing the movie's various shots.

Missing Link is available from Elevation Pictures as of July 23rd, 2019. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The film is presented with English SDH subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 34 min.

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