KUbo anD tHe tWo strings
released 9 sePtember Pg | tbC Director travis Knight Cast art Parkinson, Charlize theron, matthew mcConaughey, ralph Fiennes
With Kubo And The Two Strings, stopmotion animation house Laika – the guys who brought us Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls – have yet again proved that they’re a force to be reckoned with. It’s not hyperbole to say that this adorable adventure showcases some of the most beautiful model-making and stopmotion design ever committed to screen, with the kind of cinematography old-guard cameramen like Jack Cardiff would drool over. In fact, the models and animation here are so bloody good they make Pixar’s CGI adventures look sterile in comparison. As if all that wasn’t enough, Kubo also has a fantastic cast of characters, a script that never lags and a glorious score. Okay, we’ll go out on a limb and say it: this could well be the most perfect kids’ movie ever made.
Set in Japan, it’s the story of little Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson) and his quest to find the magical armour owned by his late father, a Samurai knight who angered the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes), thus sending his family into exile. Helped on his journey by a monkey (Charlize Theron), a bewitched Samurai beetle (Matthew McConaughey) and lots of little origami creatures that don’t say a word but have more personality than some living people you actually know, Kubo battles everything from undersea eyemonsters to giant, skeletal apes.
As a children’s romp it’s funny, colourful and has a lovely message (love is all you need). As a film for adults, it’s gratifyingly rich, textured and psychological; there’s a chance some moments might make your chin wobble. Don’t miss it. Jayne Nelson
Stick around during the end credits for a behind-the-scenes sequence showing the hours it took to film the skeleton-ape.
“If only I could see through this hair.”