Film Review: Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

Stunning animation and evocative storytelling seduce in this overlooked fantasy film for all ages.

The Low Down:

Kubo earns money to look after his mother by storytelling in the nearest village. One evening, as he prays for his father’s spirit, he’s pushed into an adventure much like the tales he tells.

Running time: 1:41 minutes
Director: Travis Knight
Studio: LAIKA


The sheer effort, technique, and care put into the process of animating this film is jaw-dropping. And you can feel it, see it, it pours out of the screen and does what was intended, evoke. From the very beginning you are thrust into caring for Kubo, and his relationship with his mother, and it does not relent. Aside from the animation, two of the most impressive aspects of the film are its characters and pacing. The plot is a little predictable and simplistic, sure. But it’s paced perfectly, so much so, you’re entranced by the end of the film. Yup, unfortunately, it ends. The characters that Kubo and the Two Strings creates are relatable and you do not want to leave them behind. Whether its because of the sharp scripting and voice acting (McConaughey gets the best lines by far), the beautiful visuals, or the heart warming message, there are plenty of reasons to gush about this underrated movie.

Perhaps that’s the strangest thing about this film. It’s been ignored, for some reason or another. Hardly mentioned, it’s destined to become a cult classic. The unmitigated entertainment value and cinematic prowess are too awesome to fade into obscurity. Undoubtedly, one of the best films of the year. I can’t recommend enough.

Make sure you stick around after the credits to see a clip of the animation process.


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