Like a refreshing breeze awakening one from the habitual blur of the mundane. Kubo and The Two Strings breathes life into this film season with its moving and sincere story following the adventure of a young boy who goes on a journey to locate 3 pieces of mythical armor/weaponry. Simple yet deep, colourful yet mature and all around full of fun and inspiration, you will without doubt find yourself smiling and inspired by the end. I recommend everyone to see this film, it is without question, a beautiful piece of cinema.
As soon as the first sentence in the film is uttered you are immediately engrossed in its story. Seven words is all it took to melt the viewers apprehension in regards to their expectation, instead you are compelled to embrace the desire of wanting to sit back and enjoy the adventure unfolding before you. The adventure of Kubo and his quest to put a stop to the Moon King.
Following the captivating introduction, you are introduced to Kubo and his mother through their daily lives. Burdened by a past injury, Kubo’s mother has moments of blankness where she loses coherency, yet with the time she can spend with Kubo in a coherent state, she expresses her love for him wholeheartedly through the stories she shares with him and the dreams she inspires within him. It is that overwhelming love the two have for one another that beckons the viewer to want to invest their emotion into these characters.
Driven by an unfortunate string of incidents, Kubo is forced to journey across the lands in search of the pieces of armor and weaponry capable of bestowing upon the wielder the power to challenge the Moon King. At the start of the journey, Kubo finds himself alongside a Monkey whom amusingly is called Monkey. Initially, the two have contrasting personalities that sees them arguing about their approach to the journey, but as time goes on you learn they share a special bond that is so endearing to watch develop. Monkey, while initially cold to Kubo, ultimately cares a lot for him as she is willing to put her life on the line to ensure he is safe. Case in point is when they travel through the frozen ruins.
Other characters join along the way as well; the animated paper figure, Hanzo, and the man cursed to live as a beetle without any memories, Beetle. Hanzo serves as their guide to the pieces of the legendary armor and Beetle serves as the comic relief on top of being a father figure to Kubo. The manner in how each of the characters through their interactions and actions impact on building an interest and concern for them is done in such a subtle way, you barely realise how engrossed you are by the characters until the end.
The voicing is fantastic. The voice of Charlize Theron as Monkey and Matthew McConaughey as Beetle brought out the respective personalities in each of those characters. Theron conveyed a real sense of strength through her voice and when needed the sincerity and warmth of a mother. Equally, McConaughey helped portray the confused yet determined aspect of Beetle, mellowing out the situation when required. Above all, Art Parkinson was fantastic as Kubo. It is because of his ability to convey the boldness, compassionate, adventurous, and courageous attributes of Kubo that we find ourselves so compelled by this simple story following a boy on a journey across the lands in search of 3 artifacts from ancient time.
Kubo and the Two Strings is a beautifully crafted film that draws its viewers into its world and envelops them in a mesmerizing display of stop motion animation and its inspiring story of finding strength in the memories of your loved ones. The films name may get you curious regarding the “Two Strings” aspect but I assure you, once you watch the film you will understand why the name is so so perfect. In case you missed it, I definitely recommend this film to everyone!
Enjoyment level: 10/10