Kubo and the Two Strings

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I want to be that voice that assures, if you haven’t seen Kubo and the Two Strings yet, it should be the next thing you do after reading this review. The film is set in a small ancient Japanese village. A boy in that town named Kubo lives with his mother in a cave outside of the village. Kubo has a special gift which makes paper come to life whenever he plays his Shamisen. The live paper creates living origami creatures and a samurai that he uses to tell stories. Everyone in the village loves his shows and especially watching the samurai fight off the creatures. Kubo lives for stories told by his mother. The stories are about courage and the adventures of his father. All Kubo knows of his father is that he died while protecting Kubo from his mother’s family. Everything in the village seems peaceful until his aunts and grandpa come after him seeking the one thing they need to turn Kubo to their side. The story takes you on an adventure with Kubo as he sets out to find the truth of his family and fight back the family he never knew.

Extensive time and detail went into making this movie. “Kubo and the Two Strings” is the longest stop motion film beating the film Coraline by one minute. One sequence involving their journey at sea took over 19 months to shoot. The figurine of Kubo had over 48 million possible facial expressions, and a total of 23,187 prototype faces were created for him. A giant skeleton stood over 16 feet tall being the largest stop motion figurine to date. The entire film consisted of over 145,000 pictures.

If you enjoyed the stop motion films; Coraline, Boxtrolls, or Paranorman, then this is another great addition to add to that collection.

I was amazed at the beautiful cinematography throughout the entire film, and I can say the five years it took to complete it was worth it. The dialogue among the characters was quite humorous. The characters are very likable, and I felt the actors put in their dues to make this film a great enjoyment for all audiences. This was Matthew McConaughey’s first animated feature. There is something about stop motion animation that creates a sense of awe and wonder that can’t be found with CGI animation. This is Laika studio’s fourth stop motion film and after watching “Kubo and the Two Strings” I cannot wait to see what great adventure will be next.