Western Animation: The Missing Lynx

Main cast... well, most of it.

The Missing Lynx, or El Lince Perdido, is a Spanish computer animated film released in 2008. It was directed by Manuel Sicilia and ex-Disney animator Raul Garcia, who also largely wrote the script.

The story takes place almost entirely in Andalusia. Felix, one of the Spanish lynxes currently facing extinction, is clumsy and unlucky enough to be taken to animal care center about once a week. He grew accustomed to this life and is not afraid of humans at all. But his easy life gets interrupted when a hunter with a group of mercenaries kidnap all the animals from the center. Felix, along with his three friends, Gus (a chameleon), Betty (a mountain goat) and Astarté (a falcon), manage to escape. Together, they must save the captured animals, among who is the rare female lynx, as well as find out who is behind all this.

From the very beginning of the project, Manuel, Raúl and co-writer José Enrique Machuca focused their efforts on the development of the script. The story was given the highest priority, and thus the animation had to be given less attention. So, animal and human character models, while displaying every possible kind of emotion through flawlessly done facial expressions and body language (this is Disney quality we are dealing with), had to be simplified. The most noticeable element of said simplification in the final product is the omission of realistic hair and fur. On the other hand, the 3D environments were created with great care, and the lighting is fantastic.

It should be noted, that while being fairly cartoony, the film has a surprising number of Shown Their Work moments, such as the film's locations built to resemble those in real-life. Also, the fact Felix is friends with animals who could easily be his prey will not be THAT stunning to someone who knows about Iberian lynxes' hunting preferences.

Spain saw a big-scale theatrical release, while elsewhere the screenings were short and limited, and generally the film was released straight-to-DVD (or even Netflix) everywhere else.

Won itself a Goya award in 2009, along with two more:

The same studio recently completed Justin And The Knights Of Valour.

The Missing Lynx provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: both Betty and Astarté qualify. Not so much with the female lynx.
  • Animal Nemesis: Newmann to Felix.
  • Beware of the Nice Ones: sure, Felix is nice, in a clumsy sort of way, but do NOT anger him too much...
  • Born Unlucky: Felix. Due to getting repeatedly injured, he's back at the wildlife shelter for his 40th time. He exploits this trope at the end by physically clinging to Newmann in a room full of deadly traps, so that Newmann gets injured by all the traps instead.
  • Funny Background Event: After Rupert the mole is released by Noah and finds his way back to the main group, he emerges from the ground with a bush resembling and afro on his head. Gus takes the bush from him and proceeds to spend the rest of the scene pretending to be black.
  • Off Model: There's a very brief shot where Felix's scar switches eyebrows.
  • Pun-Based Title
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds and the lighting.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Newmann begins to suffer one after Felix claws his face, turning the hunt into a personal vendetta.