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Missing Link  (DVD)


Stars: Voices: Hugh Jackman, Zach Galiafanakis, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant, Emma Thompson, David Walliams, Matt Lucas

Director: Chris Butler

Director/writer Chris Butler has only the makings of a 25-minute cartoon here, and has to stretch it to feature length. So he pads it out with lots of beautifully animated landscapes worthy of an art exhibition, but also far too much stodgy, speechy dialogue that will soon set younger children's heads nodding.

It's the early 1900s and would-be great explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman), fresh from an (amusing) encounter with the Loch Ness Monster (alas, his camera got broken), is desperate to be recognised for the talent he thinks he has, and to join the exclusive London club, headed by its fiercely whiskered chairman (Fry), to which many great explorers have belonged.

His next task, which he hopes will bring these hopes to fruition, is to locate and document the sasquatch: the 'bigfoot' or missing link of north American legend. Alas, the Link himself (Galiafanakis), when found, proves to be the most unprepossessing of creatures, all nose, mouth and an unwieldy body covered in what looks like rust-coloured feathers. He also has an annoying voice and no wish but to connect with what he considers his distant cousins, the yeti of the Himalayas.

It's a trek, all right, but enlivened by one or two amusing incidents. 'Throw this rope over the wall,' commands Sir Lionel to Mr Link, with the inevitable result. And the dialogue does have the occasional sparkle. 'Have you wanted something so bad it hurts?' wails Mr Link. 'Like gas. Only sadder.'

David Quinlan

USA/Canada/UK 2019. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Technicolor.
91 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 02 Aug 2019