Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

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Kubo and the Two Strings | Laika Studios

The kids and I saw an early screening of Kubo and the Two Strings on Monday. We loved it and think it’s Laika’s best film to date. The new stop-motion movie features more CGI than previous Laika movies. I also thought the film was more emotional than previous releases from Laika. Parts of the story were sad and reminded me a little of the opening story in Disney Pixar’s Up movie. The soundtrack was also excellent — during the sad scenes. Kubo and the Two Strings (Laika Studios and Focus Features) is out in theaters today. The 101-minute animated film is rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, action and peril.

Kubo Brings Origami Characters to Life

Kubo and the Two String is a sad story about a boy with the magical ability to bring origami characters to life through his story telling and guitar. Kubo is in hiding with his mom. His grandfather stole one of his eyes when he was a baby and wants to get the other one too. But his grandfather, the Moon King, eventually finds him. In order to defeat his grandfather, Kubo must go on a journey with a monkey and beetle to find a magical armor, helmet, and sword.

If You Must Blink, Do It Now

That’s the first line of the film. In my opinion, it’s the best line in the movie. The line certainly caught my attention. I think it may have even made me pay more attention to the start of the story. I’ll admit it. With animated films, sometimes I don’t pay close attention to the story. But that wasn’t the case with Kubo and the Two String.

Two Strings or Three?

My seven-year son asked me a good question after the movie was over. He said, “Shouldn’t the film be called Kubo and the Three Strings?” He pointed out the guitar Kubo used to defeat the Moon King had three strings. I noticed the same thing when I was watching the scene. I’m guessing the third string didn’t really count because he didn’t wear it as a bracelet.

Charlize Theron is a Monkey

Art Parkinson provided the voice for the main character, Kubo. Other voices that stood out were Charlize Theron (Monkey) and Matthew McConaughey (Beetle). At times, it was a little weird to hear Charlize’s voice come out of a monkey’s mouth. Other cast members include Ralph Fiennes (Moon King), George Takei (Hosato), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Hashi), Brenda Vaccaro (Kameyo), Rooney Mara (The Sisters), Meyrick Murphy (Mari), Minae Noji (Minae), Alpha Takahashi (Aiko), Laura Miro (Miho), Ken Takemoto (Ken), Aaron Aoki (villager), and Luke Donaldson (villager). Kubo and the Two String was directed by Travis Knight.

Kubo and the Two String Synopsis

An epic action-adventure from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen — a magical musical instrument — Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.

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