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In a surprise win, Laika’s Missing Link held off competition from Disney’s Frozen 2, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Disney’s The Lion King and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4 to win the Golden Globe for best animated feature on Sunday.
A Yeti-themed, global-trotting adventure, Missing Link was written and directed by Chris Butler (Laika’s Paranorman) and produced by Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight. It marks Laika’s first Golden Globe win, though the studio’s work has received several prior nominations, most recently Kubo and the Two Strings in 2016.
Speaking with reporters backstage, Butler said he felt “shocked” by the win.
“I’ve been making animated movies for a long time,” Butler added. “We try to tell more irreverent stories, try to do things other studios wouldn’t do. Walking around our studio is like walking around Santa’s workshop, all kinds of artists.”
Butler said he felt “privileged” to go up against major features including those by Disney and DreamWorks.
“I feel like we’re in very, very good company and I never expected this. It’s great to be acknowledged and have a movie that’s not as big as those movies but still be celebrated.”
It was an unusual year, as three of the animated feature nominees had previous films in their franchises with Golden Globe wins in the category. Toy Story 3 claimed the Golden Globe in 2010; Frozen prevailed in 2013; and How to Train Your Dragon 2 scored the nod in 2014.
The HFPA threw Disney a curve ball with the nomination of Jon Favreau’s The Lion King. The film is computer-animated, but due to its photorealistic look, the studio has not positioned it as an animated film and didn’t enter it for consideration in the animated feature Oscar category.
The Golden Globe for best animated feature was first handed out in 2007, with the first recipient being Pixar’s Cars and its director, John Lasseter.
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Jon M. Chu