In the epic fantasy, scruffy, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living while devotedly caring for his mother in their sleepy shoreside village. It is a quiet existence – until a spirit from the past catches up with him to enforce an age-old vendetta. Suddenly on the run from gods and monsters, Kubo’s chance for survival rests on finding the magical suit of armor once worn by his fallen father, the greatest samurai the world has ever known. Summoning courage, Kubo embarks on a thrilling odyssey as he faces his family’s history, navigates the elements, and bravely fights for the earth and the stars.
ActorsStarring: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Brenda Vaccaro, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, George Takei, Meyrick Murphy, Minae Noji, Ranjani Brow, Michael Sun Lee, Laura Miro, Saemi Nakamura, Ken Takemoto, Alpha Takahashi, Aaron Aoki, Thomas Isao Morinaka, Rachel Morihiro, Cary Yoshio Mizobe, Meyrick Murphy
Kubo and the Two Strings is one of the few movies that can be described as perfect. Everything about the film comes off as flawless; from characters to story to art to music. Of all those aspects, it is the story that is perhaps the strongest of all. Kubo himself is a storyteller and his film possesses as much magic as the character himself. You will not see overused tropes such as action for the sake of action or the need to explain every little detail like the audience is unintelligent.
The story also features everything you would expect from a fantasy tale. A group of heroes that has to battle monsters and villains on a quest to find legendary, magical items that are their only hope. The world these characters live in is a mystical place full of danger and mystery, but also excitement and adventure. Each and every character grows and changes as the audience learns more about them and as they learn more about themselves throughout their journey. No character remains stoic or is simply brushed to the side; everyone reveals the reasons for their actions and that makes them feel less like characters and so much more like people.
Visually, the film is absolutely stunning. This is the 4th stop motion animation film that Laika has put out. While their style has not changed too much since their debut film (Coraline), it is nonetheless stunning. The music is much the same way; it fits the Japanese setting of the film and is tailored to match each scene. The combination of all these factors will make you want to weep with sadness and joy throughout the film.
Going into too much detail about the film would be too much of a spoiler in any regard, but the film just feels so…rich. Viewers are thrown into a world that has its own rules, culture, history, and magic but you never really feel lost. The characters are at home in this world and it is presented in such a way that you can love what is there without the need for detailed explanations that so many other films feel like they have to include these days. And of course, Kubo and the Two Strings has the benefit of being an original film. Not a remake, not a prequel, not a sequel, not a superhero comic book adaption. It is its own story and the best film of 2016 thus far. It will not be surprising if it is still the best film when the year comes to a close.