Missing Link: What You Need To Know
American animation studio and stop-motion specialists Laika may not have the financial clout of their Disney-owned rivals Pixar, but the independent studio run by Bumblebee director Travis Knight has been punching well above its weight in recent years with a string of critically-acclaimed hits such as Coraline, The Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings, earning the studio an enviable reputation as one of the world's top animators for the big screen.
Their latest feature film, Missing Link, arrived in spring this year and tells the story of a fictional 19th Century explorer and his quest to discover the mythical creature rumoured to be evolution's missing link between man and beast.
After a successful run in cinemas earlier this year, the film is set to make its arrival in stores on Monday (August 5th), here's everything you need to know...
Who's in it?
Hugh Jackman leads the film's impressive voice cast as intrepid explorer Sir Lionel Frost, while Zach Galifianakis provides the voice of the film's titular Missing Link. Starring alongside them are Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Zoe Saldana and Timothy Olyphant.
And who's directing?
Chris Butler, who made his directorial debut in 2012 with another Laika animation, ParaNorman, is the man overseeing this one.
What's the plot?
It's 1886 and explorer Sir Lionel Frost is struggling to land the career-defining expedition that will establish him as one of the world's leading explorers in the eyes of his peers, especially his rival Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Fry), the leader of an organisation representing the world's brightest minds, modestly named the Society of Great Men.
Frost's potential big break comes with the receipt of a letter claiming the existence of a Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest. Frost determines to organise an expedition, making a deal with Piggot-Dunceby that he will be allowed to join the society if he returns home having captured the creature.
When Frost does eventually find his target he is taken aback to discover that not only is the Sasquatch real, he is fluent in English – and the author of the letter Frost received. Given the name Mr. Link by Frost, the Sasquatch explains that he wrote to the explorer because he had heard rumours that cousins of his, the Yeti, could be found in the mountains of the Himalayas, and hoped that Frost might be able to help him find them.
Frost agrees to help and arranges a trip to the Himalayas with the help of his former lover Adelina Fortnight (Saldana), unaware that Piggot-Dunceby has hired a bounty hunter to track Frost and kill him, with the aim of preventing him becoming an embarrassment to the society.
Does it deliver?
If you've enjoyed the other films produced by the Laika studio over the last decade then you'll find plenty to love about this heartwarming, family-friendly adventure too. The cast are superb, the gags sharp and plentiful, and as with all Laika movies, Missing Link has bags of heart too. What's not to like?