What Drew Zoe Saldana And Zach Galifianakis To Laika Stop-Motion Animation

Hugh Jackman as Lionel Frost and Zach Gali

This year there is no shortage of exciting family films coming to theaters, from the highly-anticipated return of Woody and Buzz in Toy Story 4 from Pixar or Disney’s sequel to Frozen during the holidays, to Illumination’s second take on looking inside The Secret Life of Pets and the many Disney live-action remakes, such as The Lion King. There's a lot to choose from!

Among them is Missing Link, the newest adventure for stop-motion animation studio, Laika. The company is fairly new to the game as the upcoming movie will be Laika’s fifth feature film after breaking out with 2009’s Coraline. The studio has quickly gained intrigue among audiences for its unique approach to filmmaking, whether that be through its innovative behind-the-scenes process (that is so detailed it will break your brain), touching stories or bold style.

During the Los Angeles press day for Missing Link, a couple of the stars told CinemaBlend just what it is about Laika that attracted them to voicing their new characters. First, here’s what Zach Galifianakis, who plays Susan the Sasquatch, said:

They’re doing kids entertainment in a very artistic way and a lot of times you don’t see that – a lot of kids stuff is one-dimensional, it’s flat, it’s very computer-generated cold images. This is very warm and there’s a texture to it, it’s almost like a painting.

When you think about it, this is true! While there are beautiful advancements happening in CGI animation everyday, there can be an overwhelmingly colorful feeling to it that leaves viewers looking into a video game-like atmosphere. Laika’s films bring a little something extra because the characters are actual puppets that are filmed on real sets masterfully produced in the studio. It’s a unique art form that deserves a certain appreciation that few animation companies are doing.

Zoe Saldana, who plays Adelina Fortnight, echoed some of Galifianakis’ sentiments along with adding in some love for Missing Link’s story as well. In her words:

The aesthetic of what stop motion truly is and how Laika is unfolding it is mesmerizing. Not to mention this is coated by a lovely story with amazing messages and complex character that are not the most likable characters in the beginning, but then end up becoming really amazing.

Take a look at Zach Galifianakis and Zoe Saldana discuss working with Laika from my interview below:

As the actress notes, what sets Missing Link apart from what other family-friendly studios deliver is its storytelling style which often goes outside of the box of the expected. For this adventure, each of the characters have their own quirks and flaws evident to the audience from the beginning. Hugh Jackman’s character of Lionel Frost for example is an adventurer with selfish motivations.

The trio of adventurers travel across the globe in hopes of finding Susan’s long-lost cousins, the Yeti in Missing Link out in theaters on April 12.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.