Kubo and the two Strings is the fourth feature-length production to come out of Laika studios. Now as a big fan of animation I could not wait to see Kubo and the two strings when it came out at the cinema, I loved Laika's first feature film Coraline with it's dark and twisted storyline. Boxtrolls and ParaNorman, where equally as impressive firmly placing Laika studios up on the top shelf for animation features. It goes without saying that Kubo and the two strings did not disappoint, in fact, it exceeded all expectations and to say this movie is a masterpiece is no understatement.
The movie was the directorial debut of Travis Knight, the CEO of Laika studios, it is clear that he set out to impress with this film creating a real visual delight. The whole movie is Shot in stop-frame animation, but it is hard to believe that this form of animation is being used as it is just seamless. Critics loved this movie and it is easy to see why, but it was not as successful in the box office as some of the other movies made by Laika studios however you should not take that into account because this really is a true showpiece. As far as awards go, Kubo and the two strings was nominated for staggering sixty two awards and won thirty three of them.
The casting for this film is nothing short of genius, Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey steal the show creating some real laugh out loud moments and displaying a true chemistry that really brings the characters to life. Art Parkinson (from Game of Thrones) provides the voice of Kubo and does a fantastic job, but the surprise performance comes right at the end when Ralph Fiennes blasts onto the screen as the terrifying Moon King he was awarded for his piece in the film and thoroughly deserves huge credit for this performance. It is easy to just focus on the amazing animation in this film but what really weaves the cast and the visual delight together is the tremendous score, that finishes with a wonderful version of While my Guitar Gently weeps sending shivers down your spine and closing the movie in just the most wonderful way.
I would say that maybe this movie may not hold the attention of young children, the dark story may be more suitable for older kids. Although there is lots of action in the film the main focus is on the imperfections of life, the challenges of loss and the magic that is Love and how that can provide the courage to overcome anything. It is funny, but incredibly touching too and certainly pulls a tear or two along the way.
In my opinion, Kubo and the two strings was easily a candidate for best film of 2016, it was certainly my favorite film that year. As a brand new release on Netflix in August 2018, this may well have been a film you have overlooked, so if are looking for something new to watch on Netflix that will have something for all of the family I strongly recommend you give Kubo and the two strings a go.
Update: Unfortunately, Kubo And The Two Strings is no longer available on Netflix or Amazon.