UPDATE: With Universal moving its family feature The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle off of April 12 to MLK weekend 2020, Annapurna is moving its Laika toon Missing Link up by a week to that date. Pic will be up against such wide releases as Aviron’s Hero Fiennes Tiffin-Selma Blair sci-fi pic After and the Fox drama Breakthrough. 

Through four releases–Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings–Laika counts five Oscar nominations, four of which were in the best animated feature category.  Kubo received a second nod last year in the VFX category. All four features have amassed over $410M at the global box office. – Anthony D’Alessandro

PREVIOUS, June 28: Missing Link has found its release date. Annapurna said today that the Laika toon starring Zach Galifianakis, Hugh Jackman, and Zoe Saldana will hit theaters on April 19.

Written and directed by Chris Butler, the plot follows Mr. Link (Galifianakis), the slightly silly, surprisingly smart and soulful beast who is the last living remnant of Man’s primitive ancestry, the Missing Link. As species go, he couldn’t be more endangered; he’s the last of his kind and he’s lonely. Proposing a daring quest to find his rumored distant relatives, he enlists the help of Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman), the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters, and Adelina Fortnight (Saldana), who possesses the only known map to the group’s secret destination, in an odyssey around the world to find the fabled valley of Shangri-La.

Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, Amrita Acharia and David Walliams, and Ching Valdes-Aran also are among the voice talent roster.

Laika’s Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight are producing. AGC International is overlooking international sales while Lionsgate UK will handle distribution in UK and Ireland.

Missing Link, Laika’s fifth animated feature, will open against an untitled horror film from New Line and the Disneynature documentary Penguins.  —Erik Pederson