Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96% (Critics) / 91% (Audience)
Directed By: Travis Knight
Written By: Marc Haimes and Chris Butler
Starring: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey
Studio: Focus Features/LAIKA
Synopsis: A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past. – (Source)
LAIKA, the studio behind this film and other wonderful movies like PARANORMAN and CORALINE, brings such a different aspect to the animated film genre than their contemporaries by using 3-D stop motion instead of 100% computer animation. And it is in that difference that LAIKA’s films and KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS shine. There is an organic lushness to this film that just is not there with movies that are CG. And the character designs were amazing especially for The Sisters/Moon King’s Daughters.
I was also impressed with the story of this film. I thought this must have been an existing Japanese fable of some kind based on how deep and layered the story was but to find out that this was an original concept just made it all the more impressive.
And the way the film pulled no punches in terms of the difficulties and sadness that made up the lead character’s story really worked for me.
There was so much build up for the villain of this film, The Moon King, from Kubo’s telling stories to entertain the people in his village to his mother’s dire warnings of just how evil the guy was, that I was really eager to have him arrive on the scene. So it was a bit of a disappointment when he finally showed up and he was just alternated between being some frail looking grandpa with a bad temper and looking like one of the giant bug aliens from the end of THE AVENGERS movie.
The whole thing with Kubo not realizing that his sidekick’s were actually his parents was kinda lame.
Final Verdict: A gorgeously animated and richly complex film that combines adventure and fantasy into an original story that entertains while never shying away from showing tragedy and sadness. A really great movie.