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kuboSynopsis:

From acclaimed animation studio LAIKA comes an all-new epic adventure starring the voice talents of Academy Award® winners Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar). Young Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) mesmerizes the people in his village with his magical gift for spinning fantastical tales. When he accidentally summons an evil spirit seeking vengeance, Kubo journeys on an action-packed quest to solve the mystery of his fallen samurai father, discover his own magical powers, and reunite his family.

Kubo and the Two Strings stars an all-star supporting voice cast including George Takei (Star Trek), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (The Man in the High Castle), and Academy Award® nominees Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter), Brenda Vaccaro (Johnny Bravo), and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). The Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD are packed with exciting behind-the-scenes bonus content, featuring the filmmakers and incredible voice cast, that allows viewers to dive even deeper into the magical story.

What We Thought:

I quite enjoyed Kubo and the Two Strings. I first saw it at the theater and enjoyed it just as much the second time on Blu-ray. It’s my favorite animated movie of the year.

It’s a stop-motion animated film so you automatically think kids movie. But it really isn’t. It’s too dark for really young kids. Some of the older kids (10-12) I talked to about it didn’t understand the movie and somehow didn’t understand the surprise twist. That I don’t get because once the twist, which I won’t spoil, happens, they explain it enough to understand. The second viewing, knowing the twist already, I still don’t understand how some people didn’t get it.

It’s an Asian inspired story so I don’t know how much the average American will get into it. It disappointed at the US box office. I love Asian cinema and watch at least one Asian film a week. Because of that, I really dug this and thought it was cool they made a “kids” movie using Asian stories of dragons and warriors and mysticism. Most of the lead voices are American actors. Ok Charlize Theron is South African, but she’s white. But the story takes place in Japan with Japanese culture.

It’s an absolutely beautiful film to look at. The paper story telling scene is amazing and the dragon fight is breathtaking. I love the look of LAIKA’s films and their details are exceptional. I thought ParaNorman was a brilliant film and gorgeous to look at and the detail work in The Boxtrolls is second to none.

The Blu-ray looks flawless. I loved the look of the film on the big screen and it looks just as good at home. Audio is perfect as well with easy to hear dialogue and musical score. Bonus features include Kubo’s Journey featurettes, commentary and more.

I really hope Kubo and the Two Strings finds some sort of audience in the US now that it’s on home video. The film deserves it. It’s fun. It’s beautiful. It has a great story and opens people up to Asian culture and storytelling. If you like LAIKA’s previous films, then this is…

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Special Features

  • Kubo’s Journey: Introduction by Director/Producer Travis Knight
  • Kubo’s Journey: Japanese Inspiration
  • Kubo’s Journey: Mythological Monsters
  • Kubo’s Journey: Braving the Elements
  • Kubo’s Journey: The Redemptive and Healing Power of Music
  • Kubo’s Journey: Epilogue by Director/Producer Travis Knight
  • Corners of the Earth
  • The Myth of Kubo
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Travis Knight
  • Japanese Inspiration

Cast & Crew:

  • Charlize Theron
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Rooney Mara
  • George Takei

Recommended If You Like:

  • Coraline
  • ParaNorman
  • The Boxtrolls 

 

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