'Missing Link' Director Chris Butler Featured in New Hollywood Reporter 'Behind the Screen' Podcast

Laika 3D printed roughly 100,000 faces to make 'Missing Link.'
Laika Studios / Annapurna Pictures; Inset: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
'Missing Link' (Inset: Chris Butler)

Chris Butler, the writer, director and character designer of Laika's new animated feature Missing Link for Annapurna, is featured in a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter's Behind the Screen podcast series. 

Set to open Friday, Missing Link is the fifth feature from Portland, Oregon-area animation studio Laika, whose previous films include Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings. It is a Victorian era-set story about friendship that follows globetrotting adventurer Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) and Mr. Link, the legendary Bigfoot (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). Joining them on a journey to find Mr. Link’s believed ancestors, the Yeti, is the resourceful Adelina (voiced by Zoe Saldana).

In the new podcast, Butler discusses the idea for the story, as well as Laika's "hybrid" approach to animation, combining traditional stop motion with new digital techniques and how it has evolved since 2016's Kubo.

Missing Link is Laika’s first film to use 3D-printed replacement faces on all of its puppets, and the company reported that the rapid prototyping department printed more than 100,000 faces in total for the picIt also built roughly 100 miniature sets.

Hosted by THR tech editor Carolyn Giardina, Behind the Screen takes readers behind the making of motion pictures, documentaries and episodic series by talking with the artists involved, including directors, cinematographers, editors and VFX and sound pros.

Butler earned his first directing credit alongside Sam Fell for Laika's ParaNorman, for which the pair earned an Academy Award nomination for directing. Butler also wrote the screenplay. His animation credits include Laika's Coraline and Kubo, as well as animated features such as Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.

Hear it all below on Behind the Screen — and be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode.