MISSING LINK Discover a Comedy Of Epic Proportions

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

Chris Butler Writer/Director

"There are movies that we watched over and over again as kids. Not because we didn’t understand them the first time, but because we loved them so much. These are the films that became part of the vocabulary of our childhood and have stayed with us forever. When I left the theater after seeing these films, I knew I wanted to make worlds like that. I knew I wanted to make films.. and animated films in particular. Now, I’m not one for hyperbole, but categorically, without a doubt, hands down, beyond question, the best movie ever made in the history of the universe is Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was certainly a defining movie during my childhood, with its swashbuckling derring-do; its deft dance between history and mythology; its larger than life characters running the gamut from drama to romance to comedy... well, it pretty much shook my percolating creative mind into a big frothy mess of fantastical possibilities."

"When I wasn't discovering the cinematic delights of whip-cracking archeologists, I was eagerly reading about the exploits of a very different kind of hero, one whose popularity has not waned in over 130 years. As he probed the darkest mysteries of the Victorian Age, eccentric genius Sherlock Holmes had me equally thrilled and tantalized. So, on numerous occasions throughout my career I found myself thinking‘animation needs a new kind of hero’. A little bit Indiana Jones, a little bit Sherlock Holmes. Someone passionate and idiosyncratic and ready to surmount any obstacle in pursuit of his prize. Thus Sir Lionel Frost was born. And what better pursuit for this dashing animated hero than the search for mythical creatures? Basically, I figured if I was going to throw all of my childhood inspirations into a pot, the stew was going to be seasoned with cool Harryhausen-esque beasts."

Sir Lionel Frost (left) voiced by Hugh Jackman and Mr. Link (right) voiced by Zach Galifianakis in director Chris Butler’s MISSING LINK

"And that brings us to the yang to Sir Lionel's yin. If Sir Lionel is a nod to Sherlock Holmes, then Mr. Link, or Susan as he renames himself in our film, is his very hairy Watson. He’s our titular Missing Link, a Sasquatch. He's the beating heart of our story. He's basically what you'd get if you crossed John Candy from Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Mighty Joe Young. Stop motion animation has a rich history of soulful primates (perennially popular King Kong, of course,being the granddaddy of them all), so it seemed the perfect medium with which to realize our hirsute hero. Everyone has heard legends of the Missing Link.. a solitary creature roaming the forests of North America. It turns out he’s a little too solitary. He’s the last of his kind, and he’s lonely. He enlists the help of renowned explorer and investigator of myths, Sir Lionel Frost, to guide him on a quest halfway around the world to the mountains of the Himalayas to find his long lost relatives, the Yeti. The intention was to tell a story that was equal parts ripping yarn and buddy movie. The key to this adventure was not the ‘X marks the spot’,but the journey itself, and the relationship that forms between these characters. Sir Lionel and Link are an Odd Couple on a kaleidoscopic rollercoaster ride spanning the globe. It’s Around The World In 80,000 Frames. (actually, it’s not, but Around The World In 139,680 Frame Isn't a very good play on words.) Spectacle aside, I wanted all the action and funny business to be rooted to a genuinely heartfelt theme, in this case: fellowship. Walking in someone else’s footsteps (and in Link's case, they're pretty big footsteps) can take us on a more rewarding journey. Where we belong in this life isn't about place. It's about people." Chris Butler Writer/Director.

(L to R) Sir Lionel Frost voiced by Hugh Jackman, Mr. Link voiced by Zach Galifianakis and Adelina Fortnight voiced by Zoe Saldana in director Chris Butler’s MISSING LINK

Mr. Link is the altogether lovable and hilarious title character in this globe-trotting comedy-adventure. Hugh Jackman is Sir Lionel Frost, a brave and dashing adventurer who considers himself to be the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters. The trouble is no one else seems to agree. He sees a chance to prove himself by traveling to America’s Pacific Northwest to discover the world’s most legendary creature. A living remnant of Man’s primitive ancestry.

The Missing Link. Zach Galifianakis is Mr. Link:the slightly silly, surprisingly smart and soulful beast who Sir Lionel discovers. As species go, he’s as endangered as they get; he’s possibly the last of his kind, he’s lonely and he believes that Sir Lionel is the one man alive who can help him. Together they set out on a daring quest around the world to seek out Link’s distant relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with the independent and resourceful Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), who possesses the only known map to the group’s secret destination, the unlikely trio embarks on a riotous rollercoaster ride of a journey. On their journey, our fearless explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril, stalked at every turn by dastardly villains seeking to thwart their mission.Through it all, Mr. Link’s disarming charm and good-humored conviction provide the emotional and comedic foundation of this fun-filled family movie. An Annapurna Pictures presentation of a LAIKA production.

Hugh Jackman holding the puppet he voices 'Sir Lionel Frost', during the filming of Chris Butler’s MISSING LINK

Hugh Jackman stars as Sir Lionel Frost. Jackman is an Academy Award®-nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning performer who has made an impression on audiences of all ages with his multi-hyphenate career persona, as successful on stage in front of live crowds as he is on film. From his award-winning turn on Broadway as the 1970s singer/songwriter Peter Allen, to his metal claw-wielding Wolverine in the blockbuster X-Men franchise, Jackman has proven to be one of the most versatile actors of our time.The Australian native made his first major U.S. film appearance as Wolverine in the first installment of the X-Men Series, a role he reprised in the enormously successful X 2 And X-Men: The Last Stand. He then starred as the title character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a prequel to the popular series which grossed an $85 million domestically in its first weekend of release.

The Wolverine followed, which grossed over $400 million worldwide. In 2014, Jackman and the X-Men team reunited for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Jackman won the Golden Globe and garnered his first Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor for his performance in Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables, based on the popular stage show created from Victor’s Hugo famous novel of the same name. The performance also earned a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® and BAFTA Award nominations. Most recently, he was Golden Globe-nominated for his role at P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman. Sales for the soundtrack to the film have broken records the world over, reaching multi-platinum status in many countries including the UK and U.S.

Set dresser Laura Savage working on the set of director Chris Butler’s MISSING LINK

In 2009, Jackman took on host duties at the 81st Annual Academy Awards, earning an Emmy Award nomination for his work. He hosted the Tony Awards from 2003 to 2005, earning an Emmy Award for the 2004 ceremony, and an Emmy nomination for his appearance at the 2005 ceremony. Jackman completed his Wolverine character’s arc in Logan. Additional film credits include The Frontrunner, Prisoners, Real Steel, Australia,The Prestige, The Fountain, Scoop, Deception, Someone Like You, Swordfish, Van Helsing and Kate & Leopold, for which he received a 2002 Golden Globe nomination. In addition, he lent his voice to the animated feature Happy Feet, Flushed Away and Rise of the Guardians., Jackman’s theater performances and awards are numerous.

He won the 2004 Tony Award, the Drama Desk, Drama League Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards for his turn as 1970s singer/songwriter Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz. His additional theater credits include Carousel at Carnegie Hall; Oklahoma!at the National Theater in London, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination; Sunset Boulevard, for which he garnered Australia’s prestigious ‘MO’ Award, and Beauty and the Beast, for which he received a ‘MO’ Award nomination. In 2012 he received a Special Award from the Tony Awards Administration Committee, recognizing his accomplishments both as a performer as well as a humanitarian. His much-anticipated worldwide arena tour, The Man. The Music. The Show, will begin this Spring .Jackman was recently seen playing former Senator Gary Hart in the Jason Reitman-directed film The Front Runner. He recently completed production on Bad Education, co-starring Allison Janney and Ray Romano.

Zach Galifianakis voices'Mr. Link', in MISSING LINK

Zach Galifianakis is Mr. Link. After failing his  last college course by one point at North Carolina State University,  Zach Galifianakis moved to New York City.He got his start performing his brand of humor in the back of a hamburger joint in Times Square,  graduating  to doing  stand-up  at night  clubs  and  coffee  houses in the city. While working as a busboy, he got his first acting job on the NBC sitcom Boston Common, which launched his eclectic career. Zach begins shooting Season  4  of  the  critically acclaimed F/X series  BASKETSsoon.  He was most recently seen on the  big screen alongside  Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle  in Time for Walt Disney and  prior to that starred in Justin Chadwick’s Tulip Fever. Previously, he starred in Greg Mottola’s Keeping Up with the Joneses for 20th Century Fox and in Jared Hess’ Masterminds as well as voicing the lead role of the “Joker” in the Warner Brother’s animated film Lego Batman. Galifianakis was among the all star cast of the Oscar®-winning Birdman, directed by Alejandro Gonzàlez Iñárritu. Galifianakis garnered a huge audience following from The Hangover trilogy from director Todd Phillips for Warner Bros. Galifianakis  played Alan, the hapless member of the wolfpack in all three films, the first of which became the  highest-grossing domestic R-rated comedy of all time. He starred alongside Will Ferrell in The Campaign, the Jay Roach-directed comedy for Warner Brothers and re teamed with director Todd Phillips for Due Date, the  buddy  comedy with Robert Downey Jr. In a departure from comedy, Galifianakis starred in the Focus Feature film It’s Kind of a Funny Story playing a mental hospital patient.

Other screen credits Dinner for Schmucks, Youth in Revolt and G-Force. In addition to the Emmy Award-winning Basketson F/X, Galifianakis’ other television credits include HBO’s comedy Bored to Death. He also hosted the critically acclaimed VH1 talk show Late World with Zach, as well as writing and starring in Dog Bites Ma for Comedy Central. He continues to host an Emmy-winning 33 internet talk show,Between Two Ferns, on which he has interviewed such guests as former President Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Natalie Portman, Conan O’Brien and Justin Bieber.

Chris Butler (Director, Screenwriter, Character Designer). Chris Butler was Co-Director on LAIKA’s Para Norman, for which he also wrote the original screenplay. Missing Link marks his return as both writer and director. Aside from developing his own projects, he was Head of Story and writer on Kubo and the Two Strings and Story Supervisor for Coraline. Prior to LAIKA, Chris amassed a decade’s worth of experience designing and storyboarding on numerous high-profile animated projects, including Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. His work has been nominated for an Academy Award®, a BAFTA, several Annies, and the first GLAAD award nomination for an animated feature.

Head of puppet painting Josh Storey working on the set of director Chris Butler’s MISSING LINK


Missing Link stars Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry,Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas,Amrita Acharia, David Walliams, Ching Valdes-Aran, and Zach Galifianakis. Directed by Chris Butler. Screenplay by Chris Butler. Produced by Arianne Sutner, p.g.a., Travis Knight, p.g.a. Director of Photography: Chris Peterson.

Sir Lionel Frost and Mr. Link in MISSING LINK, a Laika Studios Production and Elevation Pictures

Zoe Saldana as Adelina Fortnight, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this past spring, Zoe recently reprised her role as the fan favorite ‘Gamora,’ in Avengers: Infinity Wars. Saldana stars with Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper in Marvel’s box office powerhouse Guardians of The Galaxy franchise, playing the lethal alien assassin ‘Gamora’. She starred in Live by Night, directed by Ben Affleck and has played ‘Uhura’ in the three films in the Star Trek franchise. Saldana is perhaps best known for her starring role as ‘Neytiri’ in the record-breaking film Avatar, James Cameron’s sci-fi thriller and is currently in production on the film’s three highly anticipated sequels. Other film credits include Infinitely Polar Bear, Blood Ties, Out of the Furnace, The Words,Colombiana, Takers, Death at A Funeral and Center Stage. She recently launched BESE (pronounced “Bee-Seh”) a digital platform intended to reshape the cultural narrative by shining light on the untold stories that reflect today’s America. This platform will provide a voice to Latinx youth through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as youtube videos and podcasts. BESE fills a niche for young Latinx audiences craving positive modern portrayals.

Mr. Link voiced by Zach Galifianakis in director Chris Butler’s MISSING LINK, a Laika Studios Production and Elevation Pictures

Zoe Saldana poses with her Adelina Fortnight puppet while visiting the set of MISSING LINK

Photos courtesy of

Taro PR and Elevation Pictures


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