“If you must blink, do it now.” The first words narrated by the main character Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a cautious instruction of how one should watch this film. This isn’t Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks. Kubo and the Two Strings is the ideal example of how beautiful an animated film can be, without the backing of a major studio. Laika, the production house, has given moviegoers and fantasy/adventure seekers an incredible treat. From the aesthetics to the actual story, this film is a representation of how magical the imagination can be. Every minute detail, from imperfectly lined teeth to the orange shade of the sunset, you will forget that you are actually watching a 3D stop-motion fantasy, action-adventure film.
With the budget of $60 million, it’s really a shame the film could only gather a little over $67 million in the US box office. But the early reviews (from the time of its release back in August) were spot on about the dazzling display of a Japanese set story and background. This nearly perfect film will leave you in awe, as well as pull on your heartstrings. While we all might be swept away by the gorgeous animated details, we are subtly lured into its myth found in the story. And with the backing of Hollywood stars, like Matthew McConaughey (Beetle) and Charlize Theron (Monkey), lending their voices to the characters, this is a failsafe hit directed by Travis Knight.
Apart from the all-American accents in the voices, which might throw you off a little, you will finally appreciate the painstaking work that each animator produced for the film. With a quick peek into the scale of this film at the end-credits, you will surely find a new found respect for the creative individuals who bring life into each animated character and element. A highly recommended film with a “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 97%, Kubo and the Two Strings is worth watching multiple times.