Saturday, January 14, 2017

Best of '16: Kubo and the Two Strings

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He looked into my eyes and uttered four simple words. These words changed everything... You are my quest.

There's something about an art-form that is as tedious and time-consuming as stop-motion animation that brings out the best in storytellers. I have long been a fan of Aardman studios (most famous for Wallace & Gromit) and the Rankin/Bass specials from the '60s are downright timeless.  Laika studios has joined this tradition with their animated models that take the practice to incredibly detailed levels. Seven years ago they scared my pants off with their "button-eyed" creepy debut Coraline. Both ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls were respectably fun, but Kubo sets a new bar. This story transcends the film and would have succeeded as live-action, traditional animation, a novel, or even a comic. I foresee that we will be hearing plenty about Moana and Zootopia coming up this awards season, but a little boy and his magical guitar represent the one of the very best films of the year.

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