It took a lot of begging to get my wife to go see Kubo and the Two Strings with me. She’s not into fantasy movies or animated films and the double-whammy almost prevented me from seeing it in theaters. As such, this review will probably not be very helpful for those of you who weren’t sure if you wanted to see this movie. Chances are it’s already out of theaters by the time I post this.
Kubo and the Two Strings is a stop-motion animated adventure film.
Our one-eyed main character, Kubo, lives alone with his mother. She suffers from PTSD of some kind that renders her nearly catatonic for most of the day.
Kubo suports himself and her by playing songs in the local town square with magical self-moving origami characters as his actors.
Kubo’s mother always tells him during her lucid moments, “Never stay out after dark because then your grandfather, the Moon King, will see you. He wants to take your other eye because he’s Evil.”
So what does Kubo do? There are no points for answering this question correctly as it’s so blindingly obvious.
The Moon King sees Kubo and sends his two aunts down to Earth to claim his eye. His mother sacrifices herself to save him, leaving Kubo under the protection of a talking monkey and a half-man/half-beetle.
Kubo must then collect the three pieces of the Armor of Invulnerability to defeat the Moon King.
The story sticks as close as it can to the Hero’s Journey making it extremely predictable for the average adult.
Not that I didn’t enjoy it. The manner of telling the story was excellent. Beautiful animation, characterization, and plot design made the whole movie a wonderful experience.
The ending felt a tad weak to me, but I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie yet.
Kubo is likely out of theaters by now, but it was a great movie. Look for it on DVD or for more movies made by Travis Knight (Director) and Marc Haimes (Writer).