Finding a summer movie that that truly captivates everyone that watches it certainly isn’t easy, but this summer’s must-see animated movie has managed to do just that…and it’s in theatres today! Kubo and the Two Strings is a movie with music, magic, heart and an unlikely little hero with one eye. Created by Laika Entertainment and distributed in Canada by eOne Films, it combines stop-motion animation and CGI into a gorgeous cinematic adventure that you won’t want to miss seeing.
A little over a month ago, I had the chance to fly to Los Angeles for an advance screening of Kubo and the Two Strings. With popcorn, soda and my 3D glasses in hand, I grabbed a seat in the busy theatre and sat down to experience the movie for myself. Since my boys weren’t with me, I was curious to see what I would think of the movie from an adult perspective. Within minutes, I was caught up in the magic of the story and the absolutely stunning animation. Stellar voice acting by Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey added depth to the story but it was the twisting, turning plot itself that really won this movie for me. I was almost scared to blink because I didn’t want to miss a single moment.
The day after seeing the movie, I was able to meet with the cast of the movie and the CEO of Laika Entertainment to get some first-hand information about the motivation behind the movie. Charlize Theron loved the tough, no-nonsense character of Monkey since she tries to be that same open and honest parental figure for her children. She admitted that the truth could sometimes be dark but that in her opinion, letting children experience that truth and learn how to handle it was more beneficial than trying to protect them from every sorrow they might encounter. As a very open parent myself, I found myself nodding along in agreement with every view she brought forth.
For Matthew McConaughey, on the other hand, the appeal of the movie was that it let him finally embrace his lighter side and get a little bit goofy. The slightly slow-witted yet very lovable character of Beetle isn’t a role I would have thought fit the popular actor, but he embraced it with vigor and had me laughing on more than one occasion throughout the movie. “I’ve finally made a movie that my children can actually watch,” he quipped with a grin.
But it was talking to Travis Knight, president and CEO of Laika Entertainment, that really let me understand just how much this movie was a labour of love for everyone involved. Stop-motion animation is something many consider to be a dying art but by combining its unique style with CGI animation, it’s given a refreshed and graphically detailed look that will appeal to both fans of stop-motion and regular movie-goers alike. I was shocked to learn that creating just ten to fifteen seconds of stop-motion animation could take days and days of work. Yet for everyone at Laika, that work is their passion, an art form that deserves to be cherished. And that passion shines through in every single scene of Kubo and the Two Strings.
If you’re longing to see Kubo and the Two Strings with your family, eOne Films is here to help you out! One lucky Mommy Kat and Kids reader is going to win a Kubo and the Two Strings prize pack containing four tickets to the movie, a Kubo cinch bag backpack, a Kubo collapsible Frisbee, a set of Kubo origaudio portable speakers, a pack of Kubo pop up characters and a Kubo folder with activity sheets, a $60 total value! To enter to win, just leave a blog comment about why you’re looking forward to seeing this movie.
Kubo and the Two Strings does deal with some darker themes so I would suggest that it’s best suited to children of about eight years of age and older, depending on the child’s personality. I know that my brave little six-year-old will be able to handle the scarier moments without batting an eye, yet a more sensitive child of the same age may find a few scenes too upsetting. But if you have older school-aged kids and have been looking for a movie that you can enjoy with them, this brilliant and original film is the one to see. Grab your tickets, head to the theatre and prepare to be swept up in the magic that Laika Entertainment has created with this animated masterpiece.