Last night, I saw Laika’s new stop-motion animated film, Kubo and the Two Strings. Set in a mythical ancient Japan, the story follows the heroic adventures of Kubo, a young boy on a quest for magical armour.
Or that’s the basic plot anyway. In truth, Kubo is a surprisingly poignant and bravely melancholy meditation on love, loss and memory, alongside some very nature-based imagery that I found beautiful.
The animation, like all of Laika’s previous films, was visually stunning, and the storytelling was inspired. I felt like I was watching an old myth be retold rather than an original story, which speaks to the truly Bardic talent of the whole team involved in its production.
If you were put off by the overly-silly trailers don’t be. The jokes are well-spaced out and not overpowering and, while I felt the humour didn’t always land perfectly, the more serious and emotive parts of the story outweigh the comic relief, especially in the final act.
If you must blink, do it now.