Written and Directed by Chris Butler
Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) is an investigator of cryptids. No matter how much he tries he can never quite find evidence. After a failed attempt to get proof of the Loch Ness monster and his valet quitting in the process, he receives a letter that might finally be his chance to fulfill his dream. The letter sounds as if it’s an opportunity to catch a Sasquatch. He makes a deal with Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Stephen Fry), the treacherous head of The Society of Great Men that Sir Frost desperately was to be accepted into, that if he can bring him proof of a Sasquatch he will be allowed to join. Only the letter wasn’t sent by a human that knows about a Sasquatch but rather by a Sasquatch itself. Susan Link (Zach Galifianakis), as he eventually names himself, is the last of his kind in the area and believes Sir Frost will be able to lead him to others in the Himalayas. The two set off to not only unite Susan with more of his kind but also to prove Sir Frost right.
Zoe Saldana plays Adelina Fortnight, Sir Lionel’s former girlfriend, who is in possession of a map to a fabled Yeti enclave. She’s a strong and capable character who at the end of the movie eschews the normal film conventions and doesn’t have a happily ever after with Sir Lionel or any other character. That almost never happens in family friendly animated movies. Usually the guy and girl are implied
The message of the movie is that home is where you find it and family isn’t always defined by blood. Susan is lonely and just wants a place to belong and he assumes it will be with others like him but when he finally makes it to the yeti enclave all he finds is a suspicious leader (Emma Thompson) who is distrustful of outsiders and doesn’t want him or his friends to be there. He also realizes during his journey he found a family in Sir Frost and Adelina. I know that’s kind of cliché but Laika does it so well that it doesn’t come off that way. They are some of the finest non-Disney storytellers out there.
The writers never talk down to the audience. Not once is anything simplified and that allows this movie to be appealing to not only children but adults. Even though there are some silly jokes and outlandish imagery not once is anything dumbed down for the audience.
This movie is beautifully detailed. Stop motion animation can be a tricky thing. While it can get the story across, it doesn’t always look good. The characters will be detailed but the environments in which they exist not so much. However, Laika has as much detail in this movie as any real-life environment put to film. There are pools of water on the ground. There’s mud that sticks to shoes and so much more. It’s just so rich to look at. Stop motion animation is an art and Laika is a master. This is a sweet and wonderful movie. Laika once again crafts an amazing film. It’s a real shame it didn’t do better at the box office. This studio does some of the best family friendly non-Disney films out there. Their films are slightly more mature but overall very family-friendly. There are plenty of jokes for adults and children and sometimes both. The films are always beautiful to look at and the stories are always very solid. It’s a shame they aren’t bigger than what they are. If you have a chance to watch this movie, please do. It is well worth it.