Kubo and the two strings

By on November 13, 2017

The latest exquisitely twisted offering from the Laika animation house is a jaw-droppingly beautiful hero’s journey. Young Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson) is a boy with the magical ability to bring his vibrant origami creatures to life through music. But he also must face a great deal of darkness, including functioning as the parent to his depressed mother, a witch warrior. With the help of a monkey named Monkey (Charlize Theron) and a beetle named Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), he goes on a quest to find three crucial pieces of armor that belonged to his late father, a valiant samurai. As was the case with Laika’s previous films, including Coraline and The Boxtrolls, Kubo features some inspired and dazzling visuals. It was created through painstaking stop-motion animation but it also has some ideas and images that are downright unsettling. Kubo is in constant danger from the first second we see him. When he was a baby, his grandfather plucked out his left eye in a vengeful rage, requiring the boy to wear an eye patch. Among the challenges Kubo must face is a sea full of giant, hypnotic eyeballs. And Kubo’s evil twin aunts (both voiced by Rooney Mara), who’ve come to collect his other eye, might be the most frightening of all. Dressed in black with Japanese Noh masks, they hover above the ground calling his name in eerie tones. But there’s also a great deal of wonder and magic here. The details and colors are gorgeous, the action scenes are lively and there’s some amusing interplay between Monkey and Beetle. And Kubo’s bravery and resourcefulness should appeal to young viewers.

Age 7 + In theatres Nov. 18

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