“If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see, no matter how unusual it may seem. If you look away, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish.”
That narration opens Laika’s latest stop-motion marvel, and you won’t struggle to heed its warnings with a film this beautifully and lovingly crafted. A fable set in feudal Japan, “Kubo and the Two Strings” is as much about the magic of storytelling as it is about a boy growing up as he embarks on an epic quest. The theme of the power of narrative carries throughout the film, with a conclusion that is somehow both simple and surprisingly complex for a children’s movie.