Very engaging and visually impressive, Kubo and the Two Strings once again proves that the only limitation with animated films is the creator’s imagination. It lays out an epic journey that is told in a unique way, along with a very arresting look.
The film uses stop motion animation (with one of the techniques cleverly shown in the end credits), CGI and what one might possibly imagine is hand drawn imagery and looks fantastic. Voiced by an A-list of vocal talent that includes Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes and Matthew (put down those bongos) McConaughey, they are given rich text to work with.
The story is an out right fantasy voyage and while this is a genre whose charms often elude, this is so inventively accomplished, it draws in the uninterested. Even with its deeply Eastern setting, there are universal themes of family, honour, bravery and friendship.
In what is turning out to be a very uneven year of cinema, Kubo and the Two Strings is a high water mark. Who would have thought back in January that two of the years most interesting films would come from the world of animation?