Featured: Anticipating Kubo and the Two Strings
August isn’t known for being a gold mine for film but similar to February earlier this year, August 2016 has proven otherwise. Pete’s Dragon, Hell or High Water, Florence Foster Jenkins, Sausage Party, The Little Prince, Don’t Think Twice, and Indignation have all received high praise from critics. For us at InSession Film, we are also covering this month the French animated film, April and the Extraordinary World, which has received critical acclaim as well. All of that already sounds great but then you start hearing rave reviews for Kubo and the Two Strings, which many critics are calling the best animated film of the year, and one of the best of 2016, period. Are you kidding me? How exciting is that? If you were to tell us at the beginning of the year that the best months for film would be February and August, we would have laughed in your face. However, that has seemed to be the case for 2016.
As fans of Laika Entertainment, we were already excited for Kubo but from everything I’ve read about the film online, it seems like it’s a film primed to destroy me emotionally. Which is somewhat ironic because Laika isn’t known for the same sentimentality as Pixar. Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls were all pretty good films with some emotional presence but they are more subdued compared to what Pixar has done with its films. And that’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, I love how Laika keeps its emotions more reeled back, letting their film’s aesthetics and characters become the forefront of the experience. That said, I’m very curious to see how Kubo mixes both aesthetics with a more emotionally moving story. People who listen to our show will know that I’m always down for seeing more emotion, not that a film has to rely on it. Hell, my #2 and #3 films of the year so far are The Witch and The Lobster, two films completely void of sentimentality. That said, if Kubo succeeds in bridging the gap between that Laika aesthetic and the familial emotion we’ve seen from Disney and Pixar, it could end up being one of my favorite films of the year.
Even though Kubo and the Two Strings was a film we were aware of, we never expected it to receive the kind of love it has been getting. Thinking back on it though, I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Laika has proven its worth and the cast for Kubo is quite great. This film features the talents of Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Rooney Mara, Matthew McConaughey and several other notable actors.
Of all the content we’ve seen this summer, it’s hilarious how two of the summer’s best films are two kid-friendly films in August (assuming Kubo lives up to the hype). Leave it to Pete’s Dragon and Kubo and the Two Strings to save this summer’s lackluster performance, at least from a mainstream film perspective. How come the summer had to wait this long to give us all the great stuff?
How about you? Are you excited for Kubo and the Two Strings?
Here’s what else is coming out this weekend at the box office:
Morris From America (limited)
Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (limited)
A Tale of Love and Darkness (limited)