Another stunning achievement from the Laika animation studio (Coraline, The Boxtrolls), this 3-D stop-motion fantasy concerns an 11-year-old boy in late Edo-period Japan seeking a magical suit of armor that his late father, a Samurai warrior, wore to protect himself against his immortal in-laws, the boy’s maternal aunts and grandfather. These gods, incensed that the boy’s mother conceived him with a mortal, snatched the boy’s left eye when he was a baby and want the other one now, his mother says, so that he’ll be as blind to humanity as they are. Intensely creepy villains aside, this is Laika’s brightest film to date, in both its dazzling colors and its core of irrepressible joy. The hero, an Orpheus-like figure who plays a samisen to charm origami paper into flying creatures, is sensitive and kind, and his adventure becomes a beautiful and nuanced allegory about maturing into adulthood. Travis Knight directed; with outstanding voice work from Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Rooney Mara, and Matthew McConaughey (really).