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Missing Link  (DVD)

5/10

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) sets out 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.

Taking with them an old flame (Saldana) of Sir Lionel's, now widowed, the explorer and 'Mr Link' begin an epic journey across the world, hotly pursued by a diminutive assassin, Stenk (Olyphant), hired by the club chairman himself.

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.'

The end threatens a sequel. Hmm. Not sure about that one.

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: 16 Aug 2019