The studio responsible for Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls brought its most beautiful and classical tale to the big screen: Kubo and the Two Strings, a fantasy adventure from director Travis Knight, the LAIKA CEO debut as a filmmaker.
Kubo maybe LAIKA’s assault into the mainstream. Their biggest hits haven’t collected more than $100 million at the box office worldwide. With 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, 8.9 in IMDB and 79% on Metacritic, this is a film the critics think is worth the trip to the movie theater.
LAIKA Entertainment has perfected stop-motion, an almost extinct filming technique.
The critics praised the company’s work on special effects
The critics said the film highlighted what the studio was capable of in the genre. It mixes both computer animation and stop-motion for the result of epic water sequences, immersive action scenes and an overall technical work that could become the surprise of the year.
Set in a Japanese fantasy, Kubo, the wielder of a three-stringed Asian magical instrument, sets out on an adventure so inventive that happily reminds of Japanese master director, Hayao Miyazaki. Rules and logic have little room in his movies. Instead, his movies are famous for the use of abstract concepts.
— Kubo Movie (@kubothemovie) August 14, 2016
Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron play important roles in the movie
The story follows the kindhearted Kubo, who sees his quiet existence shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past. The entity pours down from the other side to personify an old vendetta.
On his quest to battle gods and monsters, he searches the secret of his legacy and the power he wields, while the key to unlocking his destiny is solving the mystery of his fallen father, the mightiest samurai the world has ever seen.
Kubo uses his stringed guitar to call a shamisen, which gives him the power of magically animating pieces of paper. He usually uses it to perform origami animated shows.
— Jodie Sweetin (@JodieSweetin) August 15, 2016
The protagonist, voiced by Art Parkinson (Rickon Stark from Game of Thrones), has the help of a talking money (Charlize Theron) and a samurai beetle (Matthew McConaughey). The only feature the movie still lacks, critics said, is the sense of turmoil and complexity in the main character.
There is also an absolute lack of pertinence in the casting. When the word is set in ancient Japan, the cowboy voice of McCoaughey might not have been the best choice. Authentic Japanese actors (George Taker and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) were cast for minor roles.
Even so, the real puppet master, director Knight, assures the movie is “the most meta thing” the studio has ever done. Kubo’s origami is a clear reflection of the studio’s work.
Another jewel in the 101-minute film is the ending, with Regina Spektor cover of ‘When my Guitar Gently Sleeps’ by The Beatles serving as the background.
Source: The Verge