Laika are the fucking masters when it comes to stop motion animation.
Saw Missing Link twice this past week (second time so I could get my fandango points and get $5 off a ticket for Studio Movie Grill), and the stop motion blows my mind sometimes. I can only imagine the painstaking work it takes to make sure mouth movements match with dialogue, while at the same time characters are moving around. Hell, there's tiny little facial movements that make me go "they really printed another face just to have that one little mouth twitch?"
The actual story content is alright. As a kids film it works. Just like the two other Laika films I saw (Paranorman and Boxtrolls, though Boxtrolls kinda sucked). If it were a standard CG film I probably wouldn't give it much attention. It's very run of the mill. And in a way, it's a shame in my opinion. Laika has this brilliant style of animation that few others can do, are the masters of their craft, and they use their talents to make something that's otherwise just okay. I would love to see someone that could pump out a super emotional story like Pete Docter take a stab at using Laika's animation and create something truly amazing.
This isn't to say every kids film has to be something up and beyond the standard fare. There's a place for them in the world. Hell, I want to come up with stories that otherwise would be labeled as such. But man, it feels somewhat disappointing seeing such magnificent art being underutilized like that. Maybe Coraline and Kubo are what I'm looking for, despite never having watched them. I don't know.
Regardless, it's a fun film with an aesthetic I enjoy and some funny moments that got a stream of air shooting out of my nose from me.