I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
Laika is yet another animation studio which has been producing an output of brilliant films for years, apparently, and I am only now watching one of them. Sometimes it feels efficient, self a critic!
Kubo and the Two Strings tells the story of a boy, Kubo, who uses his guitar to summon spells and samurai era Japan. He is forced to go on a journey to find his father’s armour and sword, so you might protect himself from his Grandfather, the evil Moon King.
Everyone’s been going on about how is the best film of the year. They say it’s the most perfectly executed movie ever made. I think such criticism with a grain of salt. I’m of the feeling that many, when they come across a great film, an animated film particularly, overemphasise their opinions for two reasons. One because they want to convince the uninitiated animation is not just kids’ stuff. To because of the stouter for when they would only watch animated films.
The mean these people are wrong. I often being among them. This reaction is paired often with one of the magnificent Studio Ghibli Animes and yes, some of their work is among the greatest cinema ever created.
So is this?
First of all, Laika specialises in puppet stop motion animation. They are bloody good at it! Every motion, every colour, every character bursts forth with furious and extraordinary life.
Next is those characters. All of them are brilliantly created. All have personalities I can relate to. Heck, even Kubo who a lesser movie would come across as some sort of generic, wonder-bread protagonist, is a joy to behold here.
The world’s characters inhabit is akin to the world of Ghibli. Not only is set in mediaeval Japan and contains a great deal of magic, but the people in this world feel like they live, work and died here they are part of the setting and the setting remains part of them. A key trait in at Studio Ghibli film.
In the first two-thirds of the film, I was floored by the animation, entranced by the setup and thrilled with the adventuring characters!
Then the third act happened. The third act is a tricky thing to pull off in most films, particularly in Ghibli films which this is clearly emulating. However, the reveal of some of the twists in this film’s closing third is so obvious and emotionally uninvolving that it makes the cryptic and technically brilliant final moments of the movie lack potency.
Nadine this is one of those movies I have to watch twice to fully get. That was something I expected considering how hiked up this film was. If anything, though, it approves the film.
It means I can watch it again.
Recommended Scenario: If you love beautiful animation and a great adventure with an ending which makes you think.