From the moment I saw the Kubo and the Two Strings trailer with that brilliant use of a Beatles song, I knew I was in. In fact, I could say, from the moment I saw Coraline or Paranorman, I was in. I have been following this studio’s (Laika) work since their first major motion picture (Corraline). While I didn’t love Coraline, I couldn’t wait to see more. Next was Paranorman which is my favorite Laika film. The bottom line, is that I cannot say enough about how amazing the animation is coming out of this studio.
To say that Laika is on par with Pixar is probably a bit of an understatement. While Pixar continues to deliver beautifully animated movies with funny characters and touching moments, I would say Laika one ups them in one area in particular. The animation is just stunning in a Laika movie. Yes, it is stop motion animation like Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and all of those old Rudolph Christmas shorts. But this animation is just incredible. We are seeing animation that is unprecedented creatively. I am telling you, it is that breathtaking.
In addition to creating a beautiful looking movie, Laika has delivered an actual really good movie. Even if they had not animated a frame of this movie, it would still be a very cool movie to watch. The story is good, the characters are great, and the writing is funny and touching in all of the right moments. Just when we thought the summer of 2016 was a bust with underwhelming sequels and reboots, we are blessed with two brilliant kids’ movies. While Pete’s Dragon was an unexpected Disney delight, Kubo and the Two Strings is as close to pure kid movie genius as we have seen all year.