Exclusive: Brand New Photos from Laika's 'Missing Link,' With Commentary from Director Chris Butler
“Missing Link” is the latest stop-motion wonder from the folks at Laika, the cutting-edge animation studio in Portland, Oregon that have been responsible for a slew of genuine classics in the past few years, most notably “Coraline,” “ParaNorman” and “Kubo and the Two Strings.” In “Missing Link,” a bigfoot named Link (played by Zach Galifianakis) contacts a British explorer (Hugh Jackman) and together they embark on a quest to discover his roots and find more of his kind. It’s the kind of enchanting, off-kilter romp that only Laika could conjure. And we are so excited to debut some exclusive new stills from the film. And what’s more – we have some just-as-exclusive commentary on the images, courtesy of the film’s writer-director (and one of the key creative talents at Laika) Chris Butler. This is all very, very exciting.
“This is where our two main characters, Sir Lionel Frost, who is an eccentric British adventurer who is infamous for trying to seek out and prove mythological creatures and it looks like he's found one. So this is where they first meet. Link is of course, bigfoot. And it turns out he has actually reached out and contacted Sir Lionel because he wants his help. I love this scene. We've got two real heavyweights performing these roles. We've got Hugh Jackman [as Sir Lionel] and Zach Galifianakis [as Link] and this was the first time that these two characters actually interact. And sets up this dynamic that leads them through the movie.”
“This is Zoe Saldana’s character. She’s Adelina Fortnight. All the three main characters are struggling to find a place because they’re not exactly fitting in with the confines of their surroundings. And in this case Adelina is a frustrated adventurer. She used to have a very adventurous life but it’s Victorian times and her husband died. And as a widow, she's forced to live out this life in her house in mourning. That doesn't sit well with her. She had a past relationship with Lionel, which is how she gets drawn into the adventure. I won’t spoil too much about that, but I'll just say that they don't necessarily have a very good relationship when they first get together. She's a wonderful character and Zoe did a fantastic job. She's definitely spirited.”
“He’s trying his best to fit in. It’s a disguise. He’s bigfoot and he lives in North America and he's the last of its kind and he happens to have read about the myth of the Yeti and the Himalayas. So he decides rather than live the rest of his life on his own, he's going to try and get to the Himalayas. That's why he hires this infamous explorer to try and get him there. But of course that means moving an eight-foot ape man halfway across the world. So along the way they pick up a disguise for him and he's pretty much acting as Sir Lionel’s butler, which is where Mr Link comes from. I was very much influenced by Sherlock Holmes and this if Lionel is Sherlock Holmes then Link is his very hairy Watson.”
“That’s, again, when Lionel first meets him. He's trying to ingratiate himself but he's also trying to be polite. I think Lionel was astounded that he not only has found bigfoot but bigfoot can talk and says, “Hello.” And Link is almost a nervous wreck because Lionel is his hero. And I played this out almost like it was a first date.”
"This is towards the end of movie. I won’t say anything to spoil it but at this point they’ve managed to travel halfway across the world. They've started to find a bond with each other. There is a genuine friendship happening between these characters. You’re also getting a little glimpse of a character played by Amrita Acharia who is a mountain guide that they come across in the Himalayas. But really this moment was about how their goal is almost reached and nothing could possibly go wrong, which of course it does.”
"Missing Link" is out April 12th.