Hillsboro animation studio Laika releases trailer for 'Missing Link,' out April 12, 2019.

Hillsboro animation studio Laika has unveiled the first trailer of its newest film, "Missing Link."

The film, set to be released April 12, 2019, is the fifth feature film for the animation studio.

The film stars Zack Galifianakis as the titular Mr. Link, a Sasquatch from the Pacific Northwest on a quest to find his long-lost family on the other side of the globe.

The film co-stars Hugh Jackman and Zoe Saldana, as well as Emma Watson, Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Ching Valdez-Aran and Amrita Acharia.

The film is written and directed by Chris Butler, who previously worked on Laika's 2012 film "ParaNorman."

Laika's fifth feature-length film 'Missing Link' hits theaters April 12, 2019.Laika specializes in stop motion filmmaking — a painstaking process where puppets are photographed and moved a fraction of an inch at a time. From start to finish, producers estimated it took five years to make Laika's previous film, "Kubo and the Two Strings."

Laika is owned by Nike co-founder Phil Knight and run by his son, Travis Knight.

Laika released its first film, "Coraline," in 2009, followed by "ParaNorman," "The BoxTrolls" in 2014 and "Kubo and the Two Strings" in 2016.

"It's only now with our fifth film that as a team we have the experience, the know-how and the collaborative confidence to even attempt a movie of this size and scope," producer Arianne Sutner said earlier this year. "We created 110 sets with 65 unique locations to achieve the film's scale, majesty and geographic beauty. I couldn't be more in awe of our Laika crew members. Their endless reserves of imagination were pushed to the limit during the production of this ambitious movie, and we ended up soaring past those limits."

Laika is extremely secretive about its projects. "Missing Link" has been in production since before the release of Laika's 2016 film "Kubo and the Two Strings," but studio executives were silent on details of the project until this summer, referring to its only as "Film Five."

A sixth film is already in production at Laika, though no details have been released. Laika has said it has plans to release films closer together. It doubled its soundstage space two years ago, which producers say will allow the studio to work on multiple films at once.

The Hillsboro studio employs about 500 people in a quiet business park in Hillsboro across from Ron Tonkin Field, home of the Hillsboro Hops.

Each of the company's films have been critically praised and received numerous award nominations. "Kubo" was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Visual Effects.

By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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