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Kubo strings into theaters

LAIKA+Studios%E2%80%99+new+stop-motion+film%2C+Kubo+and+the+Two+Strings.
LAIKA Studios’ new stop-motion film, Kubo and the Two Strings.

LAIKA Studios’ new stop-motion film, Kubo and the Two Strings.

LAIKA

LAIKA

LAIKA Studios’ new stop-motion film, Kubo and the Two Strings.

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BRUNSWICK, OH —  Coraline, ParaNorman, Corpse Bride, The Boxtrolls; these films all have something in common, save for the undeniably diverse storylines in each one. LAIKA Studios writes, produces, and animates their own creations, earning a large following in the process. Recently, a new LAIKA successor has approached the box office at lightning speed, grossing over 24 million in North America and receiving a 96% on the “tomatometer.” Kubo and the Two Strings tells a tale like no other with ancient beings, enchanted objects, and the classic hero’s journey trope.

In a small Japanese village, there lives a boy named Kubo. He cares about his mother more than anything else in the whole entire world. She still suffers from a near-fatal accident that occurred no more than 12 years ago, and now Kubo has adopted a particular regime to accommodate her illness. Although, when tragedy strikes and Kubo is left with only a toy monkey charm and his wits to survive, he must find a way to float using the only thing that’s kept him from sinkingmagic.

Animation, especially stop motion, is an art that not many appreciate. Kubo and the Two Strings brings everything around full circle, and totally defies the laws of clay model puppetry. For one thing, this film took over four years to make. Stop motion is a time-consuming task, and the procedure is quite frustrating all together. Usually, the Oregon-based stop-motion studio uses six to 12 inch tall puppets. However, for Kubo, LAIKA went above and beyond, constructing an 18-foot tall skeletal giant, thought to be the largest of its kind.

“It was by far the largest puppet we ever created,” VFX supervisor Steve Emerson said. “It seemed insane, so of course we did it.”

All in all, Kubo and the Two Strings is a fantasy-action comedy that will leave you speechless and awestruck, tearful and reflective. The way it touches down on family values and hard-hitting topics such as depression and death is a normal routine for LAIKA, but there was a mystical spark about Kubo that lightened the load. The animation exceeded my expectations, and the characters are incredibly dynamic. I heavily recommend this movie to anyone who asks, so grab a bag of popcorn and totally immerse yourself in the magic of Kubo and the Two Strings.

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