Kubo and the Two Strings, animation studio Laika’s latest feature film, has wowed critics across the board.

Directed by Travis KnightKubo and the Two Strings follows the titular character – a young Japanese storyteller voiced by Game of ThronesArt Parkinson – who mistakenly wakes a spirit from his past. In his efforts to defeat it and save his family, he gets help from Matthew McConaughey’s Beetle as well as Monkey, voiced by Charlize Theron. Rooney Mara, George Takei and Ralph Fiennes also lend their voices to Kubo and the Two Strings characters.

Kubo Reviews

Reviews of Kubo and the Two Strings have been overwhelmingly positive. The film is said to be transportive, from Kubo’s whimsical playing of the shamisen, to his fluttering origami creations. Critics are also quick to praise what grounds Kubo in reality – loss, friendship and the life-changing quest he embarks upon.

“If the emphasis on the importance of memories, family and hope, and the power of storytelling, doesn’t feel like its approaching the profundity of Pixar’s life lessons, the way the movie turns its familiar family-friendly elements into something fresh and vibrant puts the movie near Pantheon levels of accomplishment. The animation feels like a reinvention. Everything else feels like a spot-on refinement. […] Filmgoers who’ve suffered through a summer of superheroes, supervillains and sequels/snarky reboots, we now have something that genuinely casts a spell on viewers.” David Fear, Rolling Stone

Kubo is a lovely, unforgettable film about creativity and storytelling – about creating one’s own fate by taking charge of one’s story. And about learning to love others by sharing in their stories.The film doesn’t gloss over the painful aspects of life: Kubo’s grief at losing his parents is palpable. If you want to expose your children to a work of art with real soul, you could do a lot worse than Kubo and the Two Strings.” Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer

“[Kubo] feels like a thinly veiled metaphor for the magic of animation, and particularly the sophisticated stop-motion wizardry that has brought this particular vision to life. Yet the film, though confident of its exquisite artistry, never feels superior or self-congratulatory. It pulls you so effortlessly into its shifting, dreamlike world that you can be forgiven for forgetting that Kubo and the many strange characters he meets are themselves puppets, meticulously designed and manipulated one costly frame at a time.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“Debuting director Travis Knight, the lead animator on Laika’s prior films, puts together the most original, well-crafted animated film so far in 2016. It’s a personal and somewhat tragic fable, and the script by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler truly invests the audience in Kubo’s well-being. But Kubo also manages to have a great sense of humor, especially with the bickering relationship among the core trio as they travel over land and sea. It is definitely the summer for talking animals taking over the cinema, but Kubo manages to rise above the rest of its peers with a wondrous coming-of-age tale full of ancient soul.” – Brian Truitt, USA Today

Kubo and the Two Strings is currently in wide release.

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