Review of MISSING LINK – Rated PG – 1 hr. 35 mins.

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This Review is brought to you by Tony Mosello

Review of MISSING LINK – Rated PG – 1 hr. 35 mins.

 

Things Are About to Get Hairy

LAIKA animation’s (“Coraline”, “ParaNorman”, “The Boxtrolls”, “Kubo and the Two Strings” latest offering comes-off the heels of their most successful venture yet.  “Missing Link” follows the myth and legend pursuer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) as his misfortunes become increasingly-evident.  As his attempt to find and photograph the Loch Ness Monster falls short, he soon after discovers a clue that could possibly lead him to the discovery of the legendary Bigfoot.  His journey takes him across the pond, through the US, to the Pacific Northwest where he actually discovers the missing link to humanity.  To Lionel’s surprise, Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis) can speak English and that he was the one who sent the clue; and he only wants one thing, to belong.  With the help of a map belonging to a friend of the past, Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), Lionel may be able to grant Mr. Link’s wish and gain his world-renown status that he so desires.  However, he must be careful as his enemies are afoot and are desperately trying to keep him from achieving his fame.

The impressive, animated tale of “Missing Link” is a very well-crafted journey with an impressive amount of heart and has a strong, resonating message throughout.  The film carries a great cast of voice actors, led by Jackman and Galifianakis.  The two share an impeccable chemistry that jumps-off the screen.  Saldana, Thompson, Fry, Olyphant, and Lucas round-out this fun, imaginative cast and they each brings their own heart and uniqueness to the film.  At the film’s focus is a strong message about the importance of caring for others and following your dreams.  While the film’s central message is rather apparent, some of its intended impact will be hit-or-miss.  Not because of the execution, but because some of the subject matter will go over the heads of a fraction of the film’s intended audience.  The film is full of humor and wordplay, but the younger kids may find themselves confused and asking questions.  For the older kids, teens, and adults, “Missing Link” delivers the goods and (though not topping its predecessor) proves that LAIKA should be one of the studios we readily support.  At 95 minutes, “Missing Link” flows smoothly from start to finish, keeping you intrigued and thoroughly entertained.  Be sure to stick around during the credits as LAIKA shows you just how much goes into a single scene with and incredible amount of time, detail, and human skill.  It truly is a marvel!  LAIKA continues to prove that they are one of the finest names in animation and I can’t wait to see what they bring us next!

“Missing Link” is fun for the whole family; an intriguing, motivational journey with a fun cast of characters and a strong central message that is a ton of fun!  If you’re taking the kids to the movies this weekend, make sure to discover “Missing Link”!!

3.5 out of 5

See the NEW TRAILER for MISSING LINK – Hits Theaters April 12, 2019

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See the NEW TRAILER for 

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From LAIKA Studios

Starring Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis

In Theaters April 12

#MissingLink

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“Alexa, open Missing Link!”

Welcome to Missing Link Adventures, a new Amazon Alexa skill for the whole family to enjoy. Meet Mr. Link, the world’s most famous – and quite hairy — legendary creature, along with his fellow explorers, Sir Lionel Frost and Adelina Fortnight.

This interactive audio story will entertain your child’s curiosity, while teaching them the importance of bravery, kindness, and fitness.

Enable the skill now, turn on notifications, and we’ll let you know when your adventures are ready.

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.

Director: Chris Butler

Writer: Chris Butler

Producers: Travis Knight p.g.a., Arianne Sutner p.g.a.

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Timothy Olyphant, David Walliams, Emma Thompson, Matt Lucas, Ching Valdes-Aran, Stephen Fry, Amrita Acharia

MISSING LINK opens in theaters on April 12, 2019

#MissingLink

Official Site: MissingLink.Movie

Facebook: /MissingLinkFilm

Instagram: @MissingLinkFilm

Twitter: @LAIKAStudios

Check out the NEW TRAILER for LAIKA and ANNAPURNA PICTURES New Film – MISSING LINK – Hits Theaters April 12, 2019

Missing Ling

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.

Director: Chris Butler

Writer: Chris Butler

Producers: Travis Knight p.g.a., Arianne Sutner p.g.a.

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Timothy Olyphant, David Walliams, Emma Thompson, Matt Lucas, Ching Valdes-Aran, Stephen Fry, Amrita Acharia

#MissingLink

Official Site: MissingLink.Movie

Facebook: /MissingLinkFilm

Instagram: @MissingLinkFilm

Twitter: @LAIKAStudios

MISSING LINK opens in theaters on April 12, 2019

“From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience” Debuts at Universal Studios Hollywood for a Limited Time to Coincide with the Film Release of Kubo and the Two Strings, Opening in Theaters on August 19

LAIKA Logo  Focus Features Color Logo

“From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience”

Debuts at Universal Studios Hollywood for a Limited Time to

Coincide with the Film Release of Kubo and the Two Strings,

Opening in Theaters on August 19 

The Special Interactive Experience Takes Place from August 5-14 and is Included in the Price of Admission to Universal Studios Hollywood

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LAIKA, the acclaimed animation studio and creators of the upcoming epic adventure film, Kubo and the Two Strings, which Focus Features releases in U.S. theaters on August 19, will present “From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience.”

This innovative, first-ever interactive event will feature an up-close look at the artistic detail and imagination behind LAIKA’s groundbreaking ten-year filmmaking history, which also includes the Academy Award-nominated filmsCoraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012) and The Boxtrolls (2014).

The special event will take place at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Globe Theatre from August 5-14 and is included in the price of admission to the theme park.

“From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience,” will showcase the evolution of LAIKA’s unique blend of handcrafted stop-motion animation and visual effects magic that will come to life in four imaginatively themed rooms. The extensive display of original sets, puppets and props will immerse guests in their singular, fantastical worlds.

“LAIKA’s films are an imaginative fusion of old-school movie magic and cutting-edge technological innovation,” says Travis Knight, LAIKA’s President & CEO who makes his directorial debut with Kubo and the Two Strings. “For the first time ever, we’re peeling back the curtain and inviting audiences into our worlds, to see where our dreams are born. This experience offers a rare glimpse into the remarkable creative process of the brilliant artists and mad geniuses of LAIKA. I’m thrilled that their cinematic wizardry will be beautifully on display at Universal Studios Hollywood.”

Set in a fantastical Japan, Kubo and the Two Strings follows the journey of clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson), a young boy whose relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (voiced by Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and  Beetle (voiced by Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey) and sets out on a thrilling quest to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny. The voice cast also includes Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, and Rooney Mara.

Universal Studios Hollywood is a world-class theme park entertainment destination providing guests with a full day experience enjoying today’s most compelling rides and attractions, and behind-the-scenes Studio Tour.  From the recently opened “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™,” “The Walking Dead” permanent daytime attraction, and “Despicable Me Minion Mayem,” Universal Studios Hollywood creates immersive worlds based on popular movies and television shows.  For California residents, Universal Studios’ must-have Season Pass offers guests a chance to visit multiple times throughout the year, along with exclusive discount savings, special benefits and previews, such as the “From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience” limited-time experience.

Fueled by the vision of President & CEO Travis Knight, feature film animation studio LAIKA celebrated its 10th anniversary in December, 2015.  Located just outside Portland, Oregon, LAIKA was awarded a Science and Technology Oscar plaque in recognition of its innovation in 3D printing in 2016.  Its three films, Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), and The Boxtrolls (2014) were all nominated for Oscars® and PGA Awards as Outstanding Animated Film. Coraline earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice nominations, and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI). ParaNorman (2012) garnered BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and GLAAD Media Award nomination and won two Annie Awards (the animation community’s Oscars equivalent) and was cited as the year’s best animated film by 14 critics’ groups. The Boxtrolls also earned Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe Award nominations and 13 Annie Award nominations, more than any other film that year. Kubo and the Two Strings, which marks the directorial debut of Travis Knight, will be released by Focus Features on August 19th, 2016.

Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and holds a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers. In addition to Kubo and the Two Strings, upcoming domestic releases from Focus include Tom Ford’s romantic thriller Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal; the real-life story of heroism The Zookeeper’s Wife, directed by Niki Caro and starring Jessica Chastain; the action spy thriller The Coldest City, directed by David Leitch and starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy; Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry, starring Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, and Jacob Tremblay;  J.A. Bayona’s visually spectacular drama A Monster Calls, starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson; and Jeff Nichols’ Loving, based on the love story of Richard and Mildred Loving, portrayed by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, which world-premiered at the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival.

 Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ™” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and Flight of the Hippogriff™, Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor rollercoaster.  Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM.” and the all-new “The Walking Dead” permanent daytime attraction.  The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television studio where they can also experience such authentic and immersive thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.”  The destination also features the Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, including the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue.

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Uncover more of KUBO’S STORY here ~ KUBO and the TWO STRINGS hits theaters August 19th

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Uncover more of Kubo’s story and get a closer look at the magic with new art and by watching the newest trailer:

Kubo’s quest begins nationwide August 19, 2016 from animation studio LAIKA and Focus Features.

For additional materials, please download here:

Worlds Art I Teaser Art I Character Posters I Photography

Synopsis:

Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.

Director: Travis Knight

Writers: Marc Haimes and Chris Butler (“ParaNorman”)

Voice Cast: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, Rooney Mara, and Matthew McConaughey

For more information, please follow us on social:

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#KuboMovie

 

 

 

LAIKA CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF BOLD FILMMAKING

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LAIKA CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF BOLD FILMMAKING

Acclaimed Animation Studio Behind Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and 2016’s Kubo and the Two Strings Celebrates A Decade of Achievement;President and CEO Travis Knight Renews Pledge to Push Animated Art Form Beyond Expectations…

AIKA, the award-winning animation studio nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, celebrates 10 years of bold and memorable filmmaking this month.  For a company whose name means “little barker” in Russian, Portland, Oregon-based LAIKA has made quite a noise in the global film industry over a relatively short time.  With its world-class filmmaking team, LAIKA pushes the boundaries of family entertainment and animated movies, redefining what stories can and should be told through the art form.  

LAIKA 10TH Anniversary Video Reel:  Click here to view

 “When LAIKA began we had a simple goal: to make movies that matter,” says Travis Knight, LAIKA’s President and CEO, who also is lead animator and a producer on its films.  “LAIKA is devoted to telling new and original stories in new and original ways.” 

“We aspire to make films that are bold, distinctive, and enduring,” Knight continues.  “We are committed to telling stories that are thematically challenging, aesthetically beautiful, emotionally resonant, and a wee bit subversive.  By combining stop-motion animation with cutting-edge creative approaches, we’ve embraced the fusion of art and craft and technology, honoring tradition while looking toward the future.  We invented new systems and technologies for liberating the camera, to make our films more cinematic.  We created new techniques for building and animating our puppets, to make our characters more lifelike and to connect more immediately and intimately with audiences.  We discovered new processes for integrating practical and digital visual effects, to make our worlds more authentic.  But we’re never satisfied.  There’s an inherent restlessness at LAIKA.  We always want to challenge ourselves.”

 LAIKA began its unconventional cinematic journey with Coraline in 2009, continuing with ParaNorman in 2012 and The Boxtrolls in 2014.  All three films featured LAIKA’s unique and innovative 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid technique.  LAIKA’s original distribution partners, Focus Features and Universal Pictures International, remain the studio’s collaborators to this day.  “We have the bravest distributors in the world,” says Knight.  “They are lionhearted souls who took a chance on a ragged band of misfits from Oregon.  Together, we share an abiding love for original stories and inventive storytelling.” 

In addition to numerous critics’ awards and multiple Annie Awards (the animation community’s Oscars equivalent), all three of LAIKA’s feature films have been nominated for Academy Awards, BAFTA, and PGA Awards.  The Boxtrolls also received a Golden Globe nomination; ParaNorman was cited as the year’s best animated feature by more critics’ groups than any other film in 2012, and Coraline was named one of the American Film Institute’s Top 10 Films of the year.  “These last ten years have been magical,” says Knight.  “But as I look forward, I’m more excited for what the future holds.  We’re just getting warmed up.”        

Knight, who makes his directorial debut with LAIKA’s next film, Kubo and the Two Strings (release date: August 19, 2016) adds, “Stripping everything else away, we’re simple storytellers.  We’re the heirs of flamboyant stage magicians, plainspoken raconteurs spinning yarns around a campfire, and knuckle-dragging troglodytes scrawling stick figures on a cave wall.  We believe telling stories is one of the prime functions of the human mind and spirit.  A good story can elicit empathy, opening us up to new possibilities, to new ways of thinking, to recognizing the shared humanity in which we all participate.  And, in the end, that’s ultimately LAIKA’s reason for being.”

LAIKA FILMOGRAPHY

Coraline (Release Date:  February 6, 2009) Combining the visionary imaginations of two premier fantasists, director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and author Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Coraline is a wondrous and thrilling, fun and suspenseful adventure and the first stop motion film ever to be conceived and photographed in stereoscopic 3-D, unlike anything moviegoers had ever experienced before.  In Coraline, a young girl walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life – only much better. But when this wondrously off-kilter, fantastical adventure turns dangerous and her counterfeit parents try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home and save her family.

Voice Cast:  Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr., and Ian McShane.  Produced by Bill Mechanic, Claire Jennings, Henry Selick, Mary Sandell. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman. Written for the Screen and Directed by Henry Selick.  

 ParaNorman (Release Date: August 17, 2012)

In the comedy thriller, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman, who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul-whisperer bravely summons up all that makes a hero – courage and compassion – as he finds his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.

Voice Cast:  Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Hill, Jodelle Ferland, Tempestt Bledsoe, Alex Borstein, and John Goodman.  Produced by Arianne Sutner, Travis Knight. Written by Chris Butler. Directed by Sam Fell, Chris Butler.

 The Boxtrolls (Release Date:  September 26, 2014)  

This comedic fable unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class, and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend residents have always believed. In truth, the Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs who wear recycled cardboard boxes the way turtles wear their shells. The Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned human boy, Eggs since infancy as one of their dumpster-diving and mechanical junk-collecting own. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by villainous pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher, who is bent on eradicating them as his ticket to Cheesebridge society, the kindhearted band of tinkerers must turn to their adopted charge and adventurous rich girl Winnie to bridge two worlds amidst the winds of change – and cheese.  

Voice Cast:  Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Dee Bradley Baker, Steve Blum, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, and Simon Pegg. Produced by David Bleiman Ichioka, Travis Knight.  Screenplay by Irena Brignull, Adam Pava. Based on the book Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow.  Directed by Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable.

Kubo and the Two Strings (Release date:  August 19, 2016)

Kubo and the TWO STRINGS

Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA, the film follows clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kamekichi (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro).  But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known.  With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara)  to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.

Voice Cast: Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Art Parkinson, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro.  Screenplay by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler.  Produced by Arianne Sutner, Travis Knight. Directed by Travis Knight.