‘Missing Link’ Director on Stop-Motion Challenges & ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Inspirations

     April 6, 2019

The stop-motion masters over at LAIKA Studios have created another animated masterpiece with Missing Link, written and directed by Chris Butler. It’s the type of movie I’d say you almost have to watch twice; once for the charming story, then a return trip for the pure how-did-they-do-that gawking at the film’s stop-motion wizardry. Missing Link stars Hugh Jackman as the voice of Sir Lionel Frost, an explorer tasked with shepherding the world’s sole Sasquatch, Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis), to his distant Yeti relatives in the Himalayas. The film also stars Zoe Saldana, Timothy Olyphant, Emma Thompson, and Stephen Fry.


Image via LAIKA/Annapurna Pictures

While at this year’s WonderCon in Anaheim, California, I sat down with writer/director Chris Butler to discuss the film. Check out what he had to say in the player above, and below is exactly what we talked about.

Chris Butler:

  • What day one on the project was like, looking at the complex production ahead.
  • Whether he wrote anything in the script that he couldn’t imagine bringing to life as the director.
  • How he stays focused on the humanity of the story while working with such a technical form of animation.
  • The sequence in the film set in a rotating hallway like Christopher Nolan’s Inception.
  • Why he decided to go with a much warmer, brighter color palette compared to his last feature, ParaNorman.
  • What stop-motion offers that no other form of storytelling can do.

Image via LAIKA

Here’s the official synopsis for Missing Link:

This April, meet Mr. Link: 8 feet tall, 630 lbs, and covered in fur, but don’t let his appearance fool you… he is funny, sweet, and adorably literal, making him the world’s most lovable legend at the heart of Missing Link, the globe-trotting family adventure from LAIKA. Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, our fearless trio of explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world to help their new friend. Through it all, the three learn that sometimes you can find a family in the places you least expect.

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