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Travis Knight’s stop-motion animated film with a script by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler (Story by Shannon Tindle and Marc Haimes) is both beautiful to look at while being quite compelling in its overall execution. In the tradition of ancient Japanese folklore this film was shot in stop-motion animation in much the same way as GUMBY and DAVEY AND GOLIATH were filmed years ago. The animators take these various puppets and move them ever so slightly to eventually create the most fluid of movements and in the case of this film create a piece of true art that is both beautiful to behold and compelling to watch as one gets pulled into this most fantastical of stories. The voice cast which consists of Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara and Ralph Fiennes among others is superb in giving life to these characters on screen. Though I feel this film is not intended for small children and is more geared towards more mature young people and adults, there certainly is nothing in it to offend, apart from some frightening imagery of evil spirits come back from the dead which may frighten little ones. This tale is a Japanese allegorical tale set in another place and time and one worth seeing on the big screen.

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