A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.
Written by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler and directed by LAIKA's own president, Travis Knight, KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS is set in a fantastical Japan where a one-eyed kid who masters the art of origami and storytelling, Kubo, (voiced by Art Parkinson of "Game Of Thrones") would go out to work to earn money during the day by entertaining audiences in the middle of a market but he comes home right before sundown to tend to his sick mother, it has to be before sundown because at night, his mother's sisters, two evil twins (voice day Oscar nominee Rooney Mara) would try to get Kubo's other eye. The past catches up to them, an old vendetta resurfaces, Kubo must run and join forces with Monkey (voiced by Oscar winner Charlize Theron) and a beetle (voiced by Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey) on a quest to retrieve the helmet, the sword unbreakable and the armor that would prepare Kubo to fight the vengeful Moon King (voiced by Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes). This quest would unlock Kubo's family mystery and lead him to fulfill his destiny.
I've always appreciated animation, but with stop-motion, it's extra level of appreciation, knowing the extra hard work they put into even just to get a few seconds of shots. It's a level of dedication and discipline that never ceases to blow my mind, that's why I'm a huge fan of LAIKA. Especially with this latest film of theirs, the scale is much bigger, there's a sequence involving a large skeleton giant, your brain starts to wonder as you see that scene just how many hours, how many weeks, how many months did it take for them to make that happen.
This film has action, it has love drama, it has family drama, it has a great sense of humor and it's also about community coming together to help one another. It has its own way of featuring and respecting Japanese art and tradition, but even if you're not too familiar with that particular culture, KUBO resonates much deeper than just the aesthetics. It's a film that's perfect for the whole family. And on top of that, it delicately teaches our young ones about how to grieve in a healthy manner. There's also a twist to the story which I won't spoil for you here. This film is just so beautiful and pristine. Charlize Theron has that commanding voice you would follow to the ends of the earth. And Matthew McConaughey voices Beetle as playful and as proud as Tim Allen did Buzz Lightyear. So it's a combination of outstanding stop motion animation, excellent voice talents, a well-told story and strong characters that make KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS one of my favorite this year.
-- Rama's Screen --
- Aug 13, 2016