Friday, August 19, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings

I've just returned from a premiere screening of Laika's "Kubo and the Two Strings", directed by the great Travis Knight.

First of all, it's gorgeous - and the animation is awesome.  All of the characters are well-designed, especially with regard to the mouth movements, and the voices and music are superb.

The problem I have with the film is the story.  There seems to be no constant theme or direction.  Out of nowhere, these monsters pop up to stop a journey that really makes no sense.  People always accuse my films of having too many tangents and diversions - well, "Kubo", in my mind, suffers from the same problem.  There's no "maguffin" that unites the story.

Also, I heard rumors that the originator of the story, character designer (and early director?) Shannon Tindle was kicked off the film to make way for Travis to take over.  Now, I don't know the back-story or the details - perhaps they had problems with the story and Travis decided to take charge and save the film.  I'd love to hear the whole story sometime. 

In any case, I highly recommend the film if you love great animation and great characters, all of the reviews have been wonderful.  Go out and see "Kubo and the Two Strings"!

--Bill P.

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