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Kubo and the Two Strings


Stars: Voices: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Brenda Vaccaro, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Meyrick Murphy

Director: Travis Knight

Here's an absolutely brilliant stop-motion/CGI animated adventure that outdoes the Far Eastern masters at Ghibli at their own game. Beautiful to look at, with lots of vividly staged action and wonderful characters, the film, set in ancient Japan, has imagination in bucketloads, all stunningly executed on screen.

There's action against a skeletal demon with numerous swords (one the magic one) stuck in his head - the film is too scary for younger children; age range eight to 14 is recommended - plus fantastic scenes at sea, and beneath it too, as one-eyed creatures there hypnotise Kubo in much the same way as Mowgli was reeled in by Kaa the snake.

In fact, scene after scene takes your breath away and the voice work is also most impressive all round, with an outstanding juvenile performance by Parkinson. Apart from a slightly soppy final tableau, the film is flawless and without fault, finding time for all facets of human emotion. A masterpiece.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Jan 2017

DVD review