Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, Rooney Mara, Matthew McConaughey
Critics Consensus: Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing — and bravely melancholy — story that has something to offer audiences of all ages.
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It's a visually striking picture, drawing much of its style from various Japanese modes of artistic expression, both ancient (origami) and modern (Miyazaki).
With stunning animation and heart-warming storytelling, Laika hits the nail on the head with this one and shows off a moving and powerful coming-of-age story…
… the setting, the mythology, the design work of the characters, and the emotional power which runs throughout, never losing any bit of heft as the adventure goes on, building up until its thrilling end.
Kubo is worth seeing if you want to see what stop-motion is capable of. It succeeds on a technical level but beyond that it never rises to any great heights.
I've seen quite a few animated films this year, and Kubo and the Two Strings ranks as the very best of that list.
As I said before, the craft alone is enough to warrant my adoration and money, I just want to see it applied to something that puts my heart on the same elevated plane as it puts my eyes.
Parents need to know that Kubo and the Two Strings is an adventure from LAIKA Animation, the studio behind Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Corpse Bride. Like those films, it has more darkness and edge than many average kids' movies and is best suited for tweens and older, rather than the preschool and early-elementary set. It has scary characters and epic battles that can be quite intense and that lead to character injuries, an entire village burning (though the villagers survive), and even deaths. Language is limited to a few insults (“stupid,” “idiot,” etc.) and romance to a couple of embraces and references to a past love story. Despite the peril, this epic adventure set in an alternative fantasy Japan has strong themes of courage and teamwork. And at heart, it's a mother-and-son love story, as well as the tale of a young artist learning how to be a hero.