Charlize Theron

'Kubo' tackles deep issues — death, loss, healing — within its dream-like tale

'Kubo' tackles deep issues — death, loss, healing — within its dream-like tale

“Kubo and the Two Strings,” from upstart American animation studio Laika, confounds expectations on its way to Oscar contention. The gorgeously handcrafted stop-motion film seems to embark on that familiar hero’s journey, only to find its own way home.

“As we structured the thing, we were definitely well aware of the ground we were treading on, the formulas, the templates, the classics of the genre,” says “Kubo” director and Laika Entertainment chief Travis Knight. “But while ‘Kubo’ is in that tradition, it takes a different path when it gets to the end.”

The film looks different as well, with its...

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