Sometimes a book or movie comes out, and it’s about this really interesting uncommon topic, and then you turn around and there are three more things about that same topic. It’s good, though, right? If it’s interesting, I sure can’t get enough of it. And so when Son of Bigfoot came out a while ago, I wanted to see it but sadly couldn’t; a year or so later, I took myself off to Smallfoot; and the other day I stocked up on popcorn and went to see Missing Link. They’re all about a version of the sasquatch/yeti/bigfoot monster, all doing extremely different things with the idea, and you can just imagine how frustrated all these movie studios were when they found out everyone else was running with a Bigfoot idea when they’d already worked so hard on their versions. Especially Missing Link, because I am ultra, super-impressed with stop-motion movies. (Here is a cool article about it!) Stop-motion is where they use puppets, or clay, or toys, or something that can’t move on its own, and take a shot of them in one position, then move it for the next shot, and so on, until it looks like they’re moving smoothly. It’s gorgeous and clever to look at, and feels so real because it is, kind of.
Anyway! Missing Link is the story of intrepid but undervalued explorer Sir Lionel Frost, who isn’t afraid of a little danger–though the travellers who venture with him aren’t so keen when it comes to getting eaten by Frost’s discoveries. Alone again, he receives a letter from an unknown writer, explaining that if Frost travels to a particular place in America’s Pacific Northwest, he may just encounter proof of the famous but never-located Sasquatch. Frost is desperate to join a terribly posh and uptight club for explorers, but they don’t take him seriously–but he gets a promise from their insufferable leader, Lord Piggot-Dunceby, that if he can prove the Sasquatch is alive, he can join their club. Piggot-Dunceby, though, doesn’t like progress and new ideas (I think we all know some grown-ups like this, huh?) and sends a hitman after Frost to take him out of the equation. Sadly for Piggot-Dunceby (sorry, it’s such a great name to type) Frost meets the letter-writer, who turns out to be the Sasquatch himself, who can speak perfectly clearly (but takes everything literally). When the Sasquatch–dubbed Mr Link by Frost–asks his new friend to help him get to the Himalayas in exchange for proof of his existence (poop, basically), the two set off on an adventure, aided by the entertaining and fiery Adelina Fortnight (no, there are no Fortnite jokes, even though I was expecting them.) Fortnight, who has possession of a map that Frost wants, is determined to help Frost and the lovable Mr Link on their journey, and to help Frost stop being quite so narrow-minded.
Missing Link is very good, and has lots of jokes that go against the proper, British-upper-class setting by sometimes being poop and butts. Which, of course, is always great! Who doesn’t love a poop joke? It’s very satisfying to have an evil bad guy that wants to stop new ideas; it’s great to have an oversized fuzzy companion that just wants friends; it’s entertaining to watch Fortnight slap Frost down when he thinks his charming ways will help win her over. I wish there’d been a little more Mr Link, though–it’s more about Frost getting over his desire to be in the stupid posh club and less about monster hijinks. It’s a little understated for a movie about a monster! But it’s super entertaining all the same, some of the shots are just amazing and I laughed a lot and was very anxious for Mr Link’s wellbeing because he was just so delightful.
A tiny, start-of-movie spoiler for anyone worried they might be scared: There’s a moment at the start when you think a person has been eaten by a monster, but they are okay! My seven-year-old almost jumped out of her seat. The guy sent to kill off Frost is quite menacing and believable, but also a bit ridiculous. All up, it’s not super scary, but sometimes tense, and mostly just fun.