I was not expecting a second excellent PG film this year but Kubo and the Two Strings was really a great and welcome surprise.
I have to start with the stop-go animation which is simply amazing; the entire film just looks gorgeous. The animators have been so inventive with the look of each character/setting, and the level of detail is incredible (I particularly liked the mini samurai).
It’s all about a young boy (Kubo) who can bring paper to life (origami) and move it around by playing a guitar (or whatever the Japanese equivalent is) and he uses the paper characters to tell wonderful stories. He ends up on a quest to find magical relics to help him defeat the evil Moon King. Any more information would spoil it but it is a clever moving tale with a few surprises and a very good ending.
Although the characters are mainly voiced by Americans the rest of the film is most definitely Japanese based, this means the story does not always make sense and characters motives are often left unexplained, however, you just get caught up in the whole experience so it doesn’t matter.
Verdict: Outstanding animated film with a great soundtrack, original story and superfluous animation. Highly recommended for older kids and adults alike.