‘Missing Link’ hopes to become next stop-motion animated film nominated at Oscars

Laika is looking to keep its streak of getting nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars alive with its most recent offering, “Missing Link.” The stop-motion animated film is directed by Chris Butler, who was previously nominated for “ParaNorman” in 2012 and also co-wrote the screenplay to “Kubo and the Two Strings.” Watch our recent interview with Butler.

The film centers on Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), a man who has spent his life trying to discover mythological creatures in the hopes that he might be accepted into the “Society of Great Men.” When he receives a letter that claims to acknowledge the existence of a Sasquatch in America’s Pacific Northwest, he makes a deal with the leader of the Society that will allow him to join if the creature turns out to be real. In America, Frost encounters the creature (Zach Galifianakis) and is surprised to find out that not only does the creature speak English but that he had sent the letter. The creature, who Frost calls Mr. Link, says he’s there are no others like him and asks if Frost will take him to his relatives, the Yetis who live in the Himalayas. Frost agrees but must overcome two hurdles. The first is that the map that can lead them through the Himalayas is possessed by Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), the widow of his former partner as well as Frost’s former lover. The other is Willard Stenk (Timothy Olyphant), a bounty hunter that the head of the Society hired to kill Frost.

SEE Oscar Best Animated Feature Gallery: Every Winner in Academy Awards History

There are several factors that play in “Missing Link’s” favor to get nominated at the 2020 Oscars. The most prominent one is that the movie was made by Laika which has had an incredible track record of getting their films into the Best Animated Feature race. All four of their previous features have gotten nominated: “Coraline” (2009), “ParaNorman” (2012), “The Boxtrolls” (2014) and “Kubo and the Two Strings” (2016). The latter even scored a nomination for Best Visual Effects.

There’s also a certain charm to stop-motion that other animation methods don’t provide. This really comes through with the character designs and the sets. Watching several of the action sequences in the film gives viewers a feeling of awe as they realize just how much time and work had to have gone into making this a reality. Previous stop-motion animated films nominated at the Oscars include “Anomalisa” (2015) and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009).

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