Sunday, 18 September 2016

'Kubo and The Two Strings' Review

From Laika, the creators of the unique animated movies 'Coraline' and 'The Boxtrolls' comes 'Kubo and The Two Strings'. A much more different style to the likes of Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks yet, 'Kubo' stands above most of the family animated movies so far this year.

After staying out too late, Kubo's world comes crashing down as he summons a vengeful spirit from the past. His mother sacrifices herself for his safety which leaves Kubo (Art Parkinson) alone or so he thinks. Now on the run and on the hunt for the three pieces of armour, Kubo is accompanied by Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) as they slay monsters and travel to discover the fate of Kubo's lost father.

As Hollywood seems to be full of remakes and sequels, Laika are offering yet another intriguing and entertaining original movie. The tale of Kubo is packaged as a Japanese myth, allowing the film to go all out with its mystery and magic creating a very enjoyable experience. As Kubo can make incredible things happen with his two stringed instrument, dazzling things are happening that will surely entertain the whole family. Due to Kubo's abilities, it keeps the film very fun as he is a child who can do marvellous things. With a young mind like Kubo who looks to do creative things with his abilities, it creates endless fun.

The fun is continued throughout the film due to the characters within the movie. Kubo as established is a fun character due to his abilities as he can do miraculous things. He is supported incredibly well by 'Monkey' and 'Beetle' who voices are two of Hollywood's current best in Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey. Monkey is very protective who seems to mainly be against wasting time and shows her annoyance when the pair of Beetle and Kubo joke around. This does lead to some great comedy moments throughout the movie as she is like a mother to two misbehaving children. Beetle is a lot more light-hearted like Kubo but also brave like Monkey which shows him to be a fun and reliable companion. The two are excellent supporting characters proving to be useful in the story and entertaining for the audience.

The animation style has mentioned before is most definitely unique. It's stop motion likeness works fantastically well throughout the film as the movement is so fluid and natural looking. It is refreshing seeing different styles of animation compared to the normality as everything is now at such a high standard, it is hard for some to stand out. However with Laika's unique look, 'Kubo' shines with its different look that really impresses. Everything looks magnificent throughout the movie from the magic that Kubo can create to the incredible scenery and locations that the trio reach in their journeys. 

As a family movie, the film does have a slightly darker tone to it that surprised me. This does make the film feel much more mature and maybe even to the extent where it may frighten very young children. With the evil spirits causing havoc and hunting for Kubo, it easily creates a threatening presence up against our heroes. This comes in the form of Kubo's mothers evil twin sisters whose giggles are enough to send shivers down your spine. Combined with the pale masks that they wear, the twins have a real creepy feel to them. I would like to have seen more done with the pair however as they seemed to be incredibly crafted and could've done a lot more in the film. Instead, they were more like henchmen to their father who didn't really impact the film quite like I had hoped he would. My only real gripe with the film is to do with the main villain as I didn't feel him to be in it that much or doing that much to make him seem really threatening.

Overall, 'Kubo and The Two Strings' is a great animated family movie that will challenge the best of them this year. Not quite up to 'Zootropolis' standard for me but still a very strong outing. An interesting story with great characters make this easily likeable and an enjoyable viewing all around. I'd recommend this especially if you have kids as it is an entertaining and beautiful original project. 

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Kubo and The Two Strings'? If so what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing this movie. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor