Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) Film Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Trailer

Kubo and the Two Strings Cast

(Voices of ...) Art Parkinson (Kubo), Charlize Theron (Monkey), Ralph Fiennes (Moon King), Matthew McConaughey (Beetle), Rooney Mara (The Sisters). More here.

Kubo and the Two Strings Synopsis

A young storyteller named Kubo embarks on a quest to find a suit of armour in order to vanquish an evil spirit from his family's past.

My Thoughts on Kubo and the Two Strings

The stunning visuals are the most striking thing about this film. Created by Laika Studios (who are responsible for other works such as Coraline and The Boxtrolls), the entire movie uses stop motion animation to incredibly intricate, beautiful effect. In a world where modern day animation attempts to emulate 3D reality using digital simulations, Kubo's puppets offer a refreshingly tangible experience.

The plot relies heavily on the boundless limitations of magic without reaching the realms of frustrating fantasy; it twists and turns, keeping the viewer on their toes, never becoming inevitable. Though the action relies on magic, the film grounds itself emotionally in a great deal of reality. With themes involving family bonds, death and forgiveness, it has a definite darker tone than most of its fluffy, chippy chirpy peers. A lot of credit is given to the younger viewer making it an enriching experience for young and old alike.

While the talking monkey and beetle add charming comedic relief and the sisters (among others) act as a, slightly creepy, villain; Kubo himself is a wonderfully endearing protagonist. He's brave, yet capable of feeling emotion; traits that allow the subtle moral undertones of this action packed plot to culminate in an emotionally charged, tear inducing finale.

Heading into this film I was sceptical that it was just another mindless kids movie; it's actually anything but. For me, the combination of Kubo's cinematic artistry, magical plot and moving themes make this a must see for all the family. I give Kubo and the Two Strings a rating of 4/5.

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