Laika, the studio behind the terrific stop-motion animated movies ParaNorman and Coraline, deliver their best film yet – a funny, exciting and mythical adventure that is a must-see for the whole family.
Young Kubo (Parkinson) lives in a cave with his mother, on the outskirts of a small village. It is in the town square that he performs magical stories of heroes and villains to the crowd, but he knows he has to return home each day before nightfall as Kubo is hiding from his own villain – his grandfather is the evil Moon King, who stole one of Kubo’s eyes when he was a baby and searches the land every night for the boy with the intention of taking the other.
Of course, one evening Kubo’s location is accidentally revealed and so begins his quest to find the three pieces of a special suit of armour, the only thing that can protect him from his grandfather. With the help of a monkey (Theron), who has transformed from Kubo’s own wooden toy, and Beetle, a cursed soldier who has been turned into a giant beetle with no memory of his past life (McConaughey), Kubo sets off on the perilous journey to find the pieces, all the while being chased by his seriously spooky aunts (both voiced by Mara).
Stunningly animated – there are numerous scenes that will make you go ‘wow!’ from a creepy giant skeleton to a flock of origami birds – and boasting a splendid story, this is a truly lovely stop-motion cinematic adventure. While there are some dark (see notes below) and even terribly sad moments, with the adorable Kubo at its centre, this is heart-warming, gorgeous entertainment and easily one of the best family films of 2016.
Is Kubo And The Two Strings suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This movie may be a little too dark for very young viewers (under 7s).
Sensitive and very young viewers may find the mask-wearing sisters scary.
At one point, Kubo and his friends battle a giant skeleton but it isn’t too frightening.
One character dies early on in the movie and another later, both may upset sensitive children.
Young viewers may be frightened by the fact that Kubo has to hide himself from the Moon King, and may also be a little scared when the King appears towards the end of the movie.