“Kubo and the Two Strings” (Focus)
By Catholic News Service
Captivating animated fable about a Japanese street urchin (voice of Art Parkinson) whose troubled family history launches him on a quest for a magical set of armor. He’s accompanied, and protected, on the journey by a prudent monkey (voiced by Charlize Theron) and by a courageous but accursed samurai (voice of Matthew McConaughey) whose body a spell has transformed into that of a beetle.
Rich visuals along the lad’s odyssey are matched by the deep emotional appeal of the interaction among the characters in director Travis Knight’s feature debut. But conflicted familial relationships — the young hero’s principal adversary is his own grandfather (voice of Ralph Fiennes) — and an outlook on death suggesting that the departed survive only in the memory of the living put this out of bounds for impressionable youngsters. Most teens, however, will recognize that the story is obviously far removed from real life and that plot ingredients borrowed from native mythology need not be taken to heart.
Nonscriptural religious beliefs, stylized combat with minimal gore. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.