Kubo and the Two Strings
Time Out says
A mature and gorgeous stop-motion film about a family’s mythical legacy? Summer movies should always be this smart
For impeccably crafted tearjerkers, leave yourself in the capable hands of Pixar. For something a few notches darker – like this dazzling animated movie inspired by ed on a Japanese fable of devotion and bravery – the wildly inventive stop-motion group Laika has you covered.
Directed by Travis Knight, the lead animator on Laika’s earlier films ‘The Boxtrolls’ and ‘ParaNorman’, this follows Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson), a resourceful, one-eyed 12-year-old with unrefined powers he inherited from his mother, a god. Carrying the mantle of his deceased samurai father, Kubo draws on his exceptional storytelling gifts, aided by an abundance of colorful origami figures that magically materialize and gracefully fold themselves into his tales.
Still furious about his mother’s marriage to a mere mortal, Kubo’s celestial relatives vow vengeance. There are his creepy, immortal twin aunts (Rooney Mara), whose every appearance rivals the unsettling sisters from ‘The Shining’, as well as a malicious maternal grandfather (Ralph Fiennes). They decide to track down our young hero to steal his remaining eye and make him “as blind to humanity as they are.” But joined by a quick-witted, protective monkey (Charlize Theron) and a friendly amnesiac warrior (Matthew McConaughey), Kubo embarks on a journey to retrieve a suit of armor that could save him.
Despite some clumsy attempts at humour, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is swoonworthy in its vibrant visuals, all unruly seas, lush landscapes and vivid seasonal colors. Regina Spektor’s velvety version of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ poignantly completes a sweet, generous film.