The critically acclaimed animated feature “Kubo and the Two Strings” is coming to the Southwest Film Center for a limited time this weekend. The screening is part of a biannual series by the SWFC that screens indie films, one per week, each semester.

“Kubo and the Two Strings” is the story of Kubo, a young boy living in a seaside village until his world is turned upside down by spirits from the past that begin to pursue him. In order to survive, Kubo must find armor that belonged to his father with the help of his companions Monkey and Beetle.

Originally released in 2016, “Kubo and the Two Strings” received rave reviews despite not being a blockbuster hit. The film was made by Oregon-based stop-motion animation studio Laika, who has produced films such as “Coraline,” the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, and Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride,” both critically acclaimed films.

“Kubo and the Two Strings” was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes, and is currently in the running in the Annie Awards and the Academy Awards, for the same honor in both contests. "Kubo" is also the first film in Oscar history to be nominated for both Best Animated Feature and Best Visual Effects.

Laika is famous for their masterfully animated characters, unique melancholy set designs and accessible storytelling that is fun for the whole family. It is all too often that animation studios will produce films that pander to specific audiences, usually only children or adults, but Laika stands unique in the universal accessibility of their films.

Laika’s productions, while not a blockbuster family film machine like Disney, provide a refreshing taste of the magic of animation and film that has been lost in an age of merchandising-centric animated films.

Fin Martinez is the culture editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at or on Twitter @FinMartinez.