It’s very rare nowadays to see a top notch animation that is not made by Disney Pixar or Dreamworks. But Laika, whose previous works include the intriguingly dark Coraline, has released their latest stop motion animation, which could give films like Zootropolis a run for its money come Oscar season!
‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is Director Travis Knight’s directorial debut, and he does not disappoint. KATTS follows the journey of a young boy named Kubo who sets off on a mystical adventure in order to defeat the evil Moon King who is pursuing him. In his journey he is joined by the aptly named Monkey (the no-nonsense, tough talker) & Beetle (the comic relief!) in his quest to retrieve the 3 pieces of the magic armour, the key in defeating the main antagonist.
It’s the animation that steals the show, the use of stop motion animation gives the film a unique charm that you simply cannot recreate using standalone CGI.The scenes featuring the origami models are the most impressive, considering the detail that is put into it. The cast behind the characters is stellar. Featuring huge names such as Charlize Theron, Matthew MaConaughey, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes & George Takei. All of whom bring the characters to life. Art Parkinson from Game of Thrones fame does a fine job with the title character.
The film itself does get rather dark at times, especially in the scenes featuring the evil sisters. Who stalk the hero throughout the film, and it has some rather violent fight scenes, so its not all bright colours and one-liners!
The film isn’t perfect though, the ending seems rushed and slightly out of place. The resolution with the villain doesn’t feel satisfying, and the original backstory is left rather vague at times. This doesn’t take much away from the film though. Kubo has to be one of the most visually stunning films of the year, and hopefully it will get some recognition for all the hard work put into creating this!