Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Kubo and the Two Strings is directed by Travis Knight and features the voice talents of Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, and George Takei. It is the latest animated feature from Laika Entertainment, who made films such as Corpse Bride, Coraline, and The Boxtrolls.
When Kubo loses his mother, and his village is destroyed, he sets out on a quest to retrieve a magical suit of armor worn by his late father. With this armor, he will be strong enough to challenge the spirits that took his family from him. He meets new friends and foes throughout his journey, but will they be enough to help him defeat his enemies?
Kubo and the Two Strings was a wonderfully crafted film that was magical both visually and when it came to plot. This was perhaps the most original animated film to come out in the past few years. The story was one that you'd expect to read in a book of myths or legends, but instead it's told to you on screen.
In my experience, the best "kids" films are the ones that are kid friendly, not kids only. Kubo and the Two Strings took that approach, and it worked magnificently. This is definitely a film that can be enjoyed by adults just as much as kids, maybe even more so. Kubo tells the story it wants to tell, and it doesn't concern itself with ensuring it's 100% for children. There are some scenes that might be a little scary or confusing for kids, but overall I think children will enjoy the movie. Actually, the film not catering to kids may be a strength. There are a lot of lessons to learn in this film. Yet, they're never blatant. They're subtly placed throughout the film which makes them even more meaningful.
This film never gets predictable. You care about Kubo and his quest because you don't have any clue what is going to happen. That is in part due to all of the unexpected twists that this film takes. These twists and turns keep you invested in the film, and make the overall experience much more enjoyable.
Visually, Kubo and the Two Strings is absolutely breathtaking. Laika Entertainment's animation style is so much different that other companies', and it a welcome bit of diversity. There wasn't a single scene in the film that didn't look great! One can assume most animation studios don't use this style because it takes longer, but I would argue that it looks better in the long run.
The only real complaint I have about this film is the conclusion. I was loving Kubo and the Two Strings for a majority of its runtime, but the ending was a little lackluster. This film had been utterly captivating since the beginning, and had it finished with that same sense of purpose, than it would probably be one of my favorite films of the year. Unfortunately, it stumbles a little bit towards its conclusion, and that had me leave the theater saying it was enjoyable. Since then, my opinion of it has increased, but not by much.
The music in the film was also very well done, especially in the scenes where Kubo is playing his instrument. It fit the overall tone and feel of the film extremely well. Any good score will almost become a character in the film, and in Kubo and the Two Strings, the music elevated the film to a new level.
The voice actors in the film did a pretty good job. Charlize Theron and Art Parkinson were by far the best. They both brought emotion and depth to their characters, and that's what any great actor does. Matthew McConaughey wasn't absolutely essential in this film, but he wasn't unwelcome. However, there were a few scenes where it was painfully obvious that it was him, and that took me out of it for a little bit. The rest of the big names attached to Kubo, such as George Takei, Ralph Fiennes, and Rooney Mara, don't have a whole lot to do. Any voice actor could have done the job just as well, but the marketing team probably wanted star power.
Overall, I really enjoyed Kubo and the Two Strings. It's one of the most original animated films of the past few years, and, despite the lackluster finish, the story was written extremely well. It looks absolutely amazing, and it's proof that hard work does pay off. It's not a film necessarily made for kids, but I think that kids will enjoy it just as much as adults will. I would highly recommend Kubo and the Two Strings.
So what did you think of Kubo and the Two Strings? How would you compare it to other Laika Entertainment films? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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