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Kubo and the Two Strings (3D)

Animated story set in Japan about a young boy, Kubo, who possesses a gift of being able to play an instrument – a type of 3-string guitar – whose music causes paper to fold into origami action figures. Through the animated origami, Kubo tells stories to the children and adults of the neighboring town. Not heeding a warning by his mother to return to his cave before sunset, Kubo finds himself on a journey to discover the story of his long-lost father and his mother. This is a wonderful film that works for adults and (somewhat older) children alike. The film is based on Japanese folklore, and there are definitely Japanese elements to the story, but it feels very universal in the way the film is put together. The animation is absolutely gorgeous, there is a lot of action, it is very funny (Charlize Theron’s Monkey and Matthew McConaughey’s Beetle provide a lot of laughs especially for the adults, and you cannot help falling in love with the Kubo character), and underlying it all is a very powerful story about families, the memories we hold and cherish, and the awesomeness of the cycle of life and death. Big thumbs up from me for a marvelous piece of storytelling that may be a bit too scary in a couple of places on the big screen for younger children but is spellbinding in its execution. I am sure this will end up as an Oscar contender in the animation category. I also suspect this will be available as a rental soon – definitely check it out.

About Gary Burkholder

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