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Kubo and the Two Strings Review

Laika Studios, the studio that brought us “Paranorman” and “Coraline,” releases another, less ghoulish adventure with “Kubo and the Two Strings,” now playing theaters.

Young Kubo's (Art Parkinson) peaceful existence comes crashing down when he accidentally summons a vengeful spirit from the past. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) to unlock a secret legacy. Armed with a magical instrument, Kubo must battle the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) and other gods and monsters to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known.

Art Parkinson, best known for his role on as Rickon Stark on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” is great in the title and his voice sounds ready for adventure. Charlize Theron is great as the surly, ultra-serious Monkey, whose deadpan delivery garners laughs. Matthew McConaughey lends his voice to the goofy insect-human hybrid known as Beetle. McConaughey’s throwaway quips also garner many laughs. Ralph Fiennes is perfect in his role as the villainous Moon Beast, sounding his most Voldemortian. Rooney Mara is quite creepy as she voices twin witchy sisters that will make the hairs on your neck stand up.

This film derives deeply from Asian storytelling traditions and combines so many exotic influences in a way that splendidly elaborates Kubo’s fearless theme. “If you must blink, do it now,” Kubo advises his captivated audience. The animation of “Kubo” is something to admire, as the movies soars from one stunning scene to another. One of Laika’s best talents is the limitless art of creating amazing monsters, whether is a massive skeleton or creepy witch figures.

Pinpointing the emotion center of the movie is challenging as there is quite a bit of talk of stories and their endings. But nonetheless, Laika has fashioned a great film that audience will enjoy. “Kubo and the Two Strings” delivers a story that will tug at your heart.


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