It was the night of the 77th Golden Globe Awards, where the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) honours excellence in film and television. When it came to the Best Motion Picture – Animated category, however, the massive surprise came about when Laika’s newest stop-motion movie Missing Link turned out to be the grand winner of the award.
Missing Link was up against a tough dominance of three Disney nominations in the category, consisting of Disney Animation’s Frozen II, the “live-action” remake of The Lion King, and Pixar’s Toy Story 4, all three of which were billion-dollar hits. DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was the only other non-Disney nominee.
Written and directed by ParaNorman‘s Chris Butler, Missing Link follows English explorer Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) and his newly-discovered North American Sasquatch named Mr. Link (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) who journey to the Himalayas in search of Mr. Link’s yeti cousins.
The film was released in April 2019 by Annapurna Pictures through United Artists Releasing to a disastrous box office run. Despite that, it earned strong critical praise for being a pleasantly original adventure with charming characters and wonderfully-crafted stop-motion animation.
As Butler was presented with the golden trophy (via Deadline), he exclaimed that he was both “flabbergasted” and “genuinely shocked” by what he had just won.
Laika had been nominated the Best Motion Picture – Animated Golden Globe three times in the past with 2009’s Coraline, 2014’s The Boxtrolls, and 2016’s Kubo and the Two Strings (2012’s ParaNorman was not nominated). With Missing Link achieving the big victory, this marks it as not just Laika’s first, but also the first stop-motion animated feature to win in that category since it was first introduced in 2006.
But what makes Missing Link‘s Golden Globe win so remarkable is that it’s the true definition of an underdog. It started as a total flop that not many people saw, and despite being nominated the award, it was widely believed it would never stand a chance against three Disney megahits. But with a bit of luck, this little gem was able to step above powerful Mouse’s offerings and stand out as this year’s champion. An unexpected one, but one that’s truly worth celebrating about.
The only other Golden Globes category that featured animated film nominees was Best Original Song, which included “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II, and “Spirit” from The Lion King remake. However, it was the live-action Elton John biopic Rocketman that won the award for the song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”.
A full list of winners at the 77th Golden Globe Awards can be viewed via CNBC.