The new trailer for Laika's Missing Link has arrived. Laika was founded in 2005 and went on to release its first stop-motion animated feature, Coraline, four years later. The film (an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel) was a success on all front and established Laika as an animation studio with a knack for telling quirky and otherwise unconventional stories. They would go on to enjoy similar success with the films ParaNorman, Kubo and the Two Strings, and (to a lesser degree) The Boxtrolls. In fact, all four of the company's movies so far have received an Oscar nod for Best Animated Feature, with Kubo landing an additional nomination for visual effects.
Laika officially announced its fifth feature, Missing Link, last year. The film's voice cast includes Zach Galifianakis as the titular character aka. Mr. Link: a "legendary creature" who's long resided by himself in the Pacific Northwest. Hoping to change that, Mr. Links teams up with the eccentric explorer Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) and fearless adventurer Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana) on a journey to find his relatives in the long-lost valley of Shangri-La. Following the release of the first Missing Link trailer back in November, Laika and distributor Annapurna are continuing the film's marketing with a new promo.
Laika and Annapurna have released the new Missing Link trailer online, ahead of its release in theaters. The trailer is expected to play with The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part this weekend and possibly How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World later this month. Take a look, below.
The second trailer really emphasizes the buddy dynamic between Lionel and Mr. Link (or Susan, as he prefers) in the film. Their relationship seems to serve as the heart of the movie and lends itself to some gentle laughs here, thanks largely to Link's tendency to be "adorably literal", as the synopsis puts it. The film itself appears to be more comedic than Laika's previous offerings, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, Still, the story by writer-director Chris Butler (who also worked on ParaNorman) feels generic by Laika's standards. Compared to layered narratives like Coraline and Kubo, a buddy adventure-comedy along these lines comes across as a bit of a step backwards for the ambitious studio.
On the other hand, the animation looks as lovely as anything Laika's made before, and it's possible the movie will have greater depth than its trailers have let on. Moreover, the film's kid-friendly humor may help Missing Link to draw a larger crowd at the box office than the studio's recent offerings have. Indeed, as critically acclaimed as Laika's movies are in general, they've never been all that commercially viable, especially in comparison to their computer-animated competition. Fortunately, Missing Link doesn't need to break the bank to turn a profit and may yet find success as counter-programming to April's superhero tentpoles like Shazam!, Hellboy, and Avengers: Endgame.