donderdag 9 maart 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 35: Kubo and the Two Strings

Director: Travis Knight
Genre: Animation/ Adventure, Fantasy
Runtime: 102 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Rooney Mara

Description: A young boy named Kubo (Art Parkinson) must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.

Review: When you think of animation, you think of Disney or Pixar. Maybe also Dreamworks, but probably not LAIKA Entertainment. It’s a smaller company that started in 2005 and is specialized in stop-motion animation. It did make some successful movies: “Coraline”, “ParaNorman” and “The Boxtrolls”. Smaller films that have atmosphere, are artistic and cost hundreds of hours of work. Why “Kubo and the Two Strings” didn’t win the Academy Award for best animation is beyond me.
Together with his mother, the one-eyed boy Kubo lives in a cave nearby a small village. His mother fleed for her father, Kubo’s grandfather, the evil Moon Kind who killed Kubo’s father Hanzo. Kubo’s mother lives in a catatonic state ever since Hanzo died, so Kubo needs to take care of the both of them. He is known for his storytelling. Every day he tells stories about his late father, with his guitar. It’s a magical instrument which makes paper move and turn into origami art and form the most beautiful images for his stories. When Kubo’s hiding place is discovered, he has to step into his father’s footsteps. He gets the help of a strict white monkey and a heroic beetle.
The film looks amazing, perfect to every detail. Everything created by hand, so much love and hard work has been put in to this film. Stop-motion always fascinates me, it amazes me, it blows my mind. The movements of all the characters are so fluent. It’s an extraordinary film.
The story has all the ingredients of a classic adventure story: a young hero taken under the wing by a mentor, looking for a magical weapon and discovering powers to help him beat the enemy. But this classic adventure story has some adult themes: grieving, forgiveness, keeping memories alive by telling stories. None of these themes are forced, just like the moral of the story.
“Kubo and the Two Strings” is an animation every kid should see. Imagination, adventure, emotion, deeper layers. And the film looks amazing. It’s a piece of art.

Rating: 5/ 5

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