After very recently caught up on Laika’s past films like ‘Coraline’ and ‘ParaNorman’ for the first time (the latter’s review coming out soon). To sum them up, I’ve been very impressed with their films so far. Still haven’t seen ‘Boxtrolls’ yet, but I will eventually see the film so I can say I’ve seen the studio’s filmography, and what works and what doesn’t. Laika has released their latest stop-motion animated film in theatres titled ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’. Is it as impressive as their first two features or is it more style than substance?

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ follows a mother who has been washed up from sea, protecting her child from her father and her two menacing sisters. The boy, Kubo, only has one eye, after his grandfather took it away from him, and is now seeking his other eye. Kubo must face his fears and have courage if he is going to defeat his evil family tree.

This film is visually beautiful. It’s technically amazing, seeing these stop-motion characters interact with this hand built world, which meshes CGI elements and stop motion seemingly. If you want a treat, stay for the mid-credits scene of how they built the large scaled character models. From the well-choreographed and engaging action sequences to the more quiet talked scenes which provide you substance, which provides you answers to what is happening and who these characters are, it develops them with ease and you feel towards them as they venture off into this dangerous, and at times deadly, quest for the rare three items that Kubo must seek in order to prepare himself to battle his evil family. The film features plenty of emotion, plus plenty of tension.

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ shows that Laika is a talented animation studio, on the levels of recent Disney animated films, Aardman and even Pixar. The film is a visual treat, while also offers spectacular action and well-developed characters.