Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings studio Laika is back with the official trailer for their next stop-motion animated project, Missing Link. Written and directed by Chris Butler (ParaNorman), the movie follows an eccentric investigator of legends and myths as he sets out to locate the last living remnant of humankind's primitive ancestry - who, as it turns out, is an unexpectedly sensitive and intelligent fellow that goes by simply Mr. Link. The film boasts an A-list voice cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Thompson, and Timothy Olyphant.
According to the film's updated synopsis, Missing Link follows Mr. Link (voiced by Galifianakis) as he joins forces with "fearless explorer" Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman) and the adventurer Adelina Fortnight (Saldana) to venture beyond his home in the Pacific Northwest and find his long-lost relatives in "the fabled valley of Shangri-La". The trio encounters more than their fair share of danger along the way, in the process forming a friendship as strong as any familial bond they've ever known.
Annapurna has now released the official Missing Link trailer online, presumably with the intention of attaching it to this month's big animated movie releases (see: Illumination's The Grinch and Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet), in a bid to bring further attention to the film. You can watch the trailer in the space below.
The Missing Link trailer is certainly as visually stunning as everyone has come to expect from Laika's stop-motion animated films nowadays, and may yet prove to be another step forward for the studio in terms of their craftsmanship, even after the technically marvelous accomplishment that was Kubo and the Two Strings. Story-wise, admittedly, Missing Link seems less ambitious than some of Laika's previous efforts (Kubo and Coraline especially), but the actual movie shouldn't be hurting for heart and humor either, if the trailer is any indicator.
As widely acclaimed as Laika's projects are, however, they haven't enjoyed equal success at the box office thus far; even 2016's Kubo, which earned near-universal praise from critics, only grossed $70 million worldwide on a $60 million budget (a new low for Laika). Missing Link will attempt to halt the studio's downward trend at the box office when it hits theaters next April, serving as counter-programming to the Hellboy reboot during its opening weekend. It will also be the first Laika movie distributed by Annapurna, which could use a hit itself after a string of releases that disappointed commercially, despite going over well with critics (see, most recently, The Sisters Brothers).
Missing Link opens in U.S. theaters on April 12, 2019.