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Today Netflix Pick is a delightfully entertaining stop-motion film that’s not just for kid’s. Starring the voices of Charlize Theron and Ralph Fiennes, it’s a magical adventure from the same people who made ParaNorman and Coraline, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It’s Kubo and the Two Strings and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.
THE STORY: An original story by Shannon Tindle, and written by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler, it tells of a young Japanese boy who, as a baby, had one eye taken from him by the Moon King, his grandfather, and the Sisters, his aunts. He and his ill mother, a once powerful witch, live outside of a small town in a cave on top of a mountain. Every day, he travels to the village and performs musical stories with origami figures, telling tales of vengeful warriors battling great beasts, and every day he races home before dark so he won’t lose the other eye. Monkey (Theron), vows to protect Kubo and lead him on a special quest, where along the way they eventually meet Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), a skilled samurai claiming to have been mentored by Kubo’s father. Together, the three set out to find the three prized pieces of armor worn by Hanzo, Kubo’s father: The Armor Impenetrable, The Sword Unbreakable, The Helmet Invulnerable and return to face the Moon King. With these armaments lies Kubo’s only chance for victory, and so much more.
WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: Laika Films are some of the most creative in the genre, the beautiful art style and photography making them visual spectacles, all done practically and in glorious detail. Kubo is arguably the studio’s greatest achievement, a sensationally gripping and beautiful journey that is charming and funny as well as inspiring. Never pandering to the young audience it aims for, it is an intelligent and challenging story that is full of colorful and meaningful characters wrapped up in a creative and exciting story. While animated movies are a crowded market, it’s hard to find something that is so wholly original it stands leagues apart from all the rest. Kubo is one such film. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.