Kubo & the Two Strings gets 5/5 Strings

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By: Justin Friday

“Kubo and the Two Strings” is a truly incredible stop motion film released recently on August 19th. The film is a mystical trope alongside the main character Kubo who goes on a journey to find protection from the dangerous “Moon King”, who attempts to steal Kubo’s remaining eye. The film has an inspiring musical score, an all star cast of voice actors like Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron, and breathtaking landscapes in every scene.

 

Kubo was more than just a film though, it was a labor of love for Laika Studios. On average, every 4.5 seconds of film translates to a whole week of production all in the span of over 5 years! The main character Kubo has over 48 million distinct facial expressions. Kubo also holds the record for longest stop motion film ever, counting in at an hour and 41 minutes; just ahead of Laika’s first film Coraline by one minute. All of the love and effort is shown through every last second of this film. Even when there was a lull in the story, there would still be something entertaining to watch. Every joke was well timed and witty; each character possesses their own unique motivation and personality.

One of the most astounding parts, however, would have to be Laika’s cast of larger than life monsters. When filming a stop motion movie, everything needs to have a sense of scale. If something is supposed to be small, it must be small relative to the five inch tall main characters. If a monster is supposed to be huge and daunting, it must be massive in comparison as well. This is very much true in the case of the Bone Monster. From waist to head the Bone Monster is roughly 18 feet tall! The puppet was operated by crane, and the monster’s legs down were filmed separately due to how massive they were. As it stands Kubo is not only the longest stop motion film but also has the biggest monster in stop motion history!

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In conclusion Kubo is a breathtaking film with something equally beautiful and terrifying behind every turn. When I saw the film I couldn’t help but say “Wow that’s pretty” at least in my head every fifteen minutes. From the very first scene to the very last second the film keeps you captivated and invested in the well being of its characters. Senior Graham Shapiro said, “I expected to see a really good animated action movie, but what I saw exceeded my expectations”.