Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a young boy who lives a quite existence with his mother in a small village until a vengeful spirit from the past wreaks havoc. It is intent on re-igniting an age-old vendetta, and sends all kinds of gods and monsters after Kubo. In order to survive, he must locate a magical suit of armour that once belonged to his father, a Samurai warrior.
A couple of weeks ago, Talking Stars was having a discussion about Animation In 2016, so I had to get watching some animated films. Kubo And The Two Strings was one of the films I saw and straightaway I’ll say that I was absolutely blown away by the film. I’ve recently been put right off animated films, but this one has done a lot in the way of restoring my faith in the genre.
I really liked the voice performances and the characters created for the film. Art Parkinson who voiced Kubo was very good, and I think it helped that I hadn’t heard of the actor before seeing the film as it made the whole thing so much more believable. A couple of big names were also in on the project. Charline Theron played Monkey, and Matthew McConaughey made his animated film debut as Beetle. I really enjoyed both these characters and the performances behind them. Neither of the two were your typical heroes and this was really refreshing to see, especially in a film where the story – which I shall come onto next – has it’s origins in ancient folklore.
So, I’ve just mentioned that the storyline for Kubo And The Two Strings is based on Japanese folklore. I really believe that this is the direction that family films, regardless of whether they’re animated or not, should be moving towards as there is so much good material to be found within what countries have believed for centuries, especially ancient Asian countries as their customs and traditions were so different all those years ago. It is a very good way of creating a film that is suitable for the whole family as well, as these fairytales and folk stories are handed down from generation to generation, so they mean something to everyone.
Now we move onto that wonderful stop-motion animation that I think was the main reason everyone’s ears pricked up to this film. At 101 minutes, this is the longest feature film to have been created with this technique, and I can only begin to imagine what a pain-stakingly long process it must have been. The attention to detail undertaken here is immense, and makes it even easier to appreciate what a fantastically crafted film this is.
Overall, if it isn’t obvious by now, Kubo And The Two Strings is one animated film from 2016 that you absolutely should watch. I was incredibly impressed by every aspect of it, from the performances to carefully made animation. I sincerely hope that future animated films follow in the footsteps of this one and look to take their plot lines from the wealth of material that can be found in ancient folklore and mythology as I really think that is where Kubo And The Two Strings biggest success lies.