Kubo and the Two Strings is directed by Travis Knight and stars Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, and Matthew McConaughey. The film is about a young boy named Kubo who must go on a journey to find three magical pieces of armor to defeat an evil spirit attempting to take his eyes.
This is a movie that I was very excited to see. The premise seems incredibly unique, the animation looked to be stunning, and the cast is a great one, so there appeared to be no reason this couldn’t be one of the best animation films of the year.
From the opening shot all the way through, this is an absolutely gorgeous movie. Laika, the animation team behind this film, has done marvelous stop-motion work in every project they do, but Kubo is certainly their most stunning work yet. The characters and scenery are arranged with such an incredible execution that I was in awe with nearly every shot from start to finish.
The voice performances from the entire cast are phenomenal, with Art Parkinson as Kubo giving an excellent voice performance next to all these A-list stars. Parkinson gives Kubo the right amount of humor, wit, and emotion to make a well-rounded protagonist that was easy to root for.
Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey both kill it as their characters, but in very different ways. Theron as Monkey balances the right amount of comedy and emotional impact in every scene she is in, and, while beautifully animated as well, has quite possibly the best voice performance I’ve heard all year. McConaughey as Beetle may mostly be comic relief, but that isn’t a bad thing, not even close. McConaughey is hilarious in this movie, but just like the others in this cast, he brings many other elements to his character, and the film is better off because of it.
This year has been filled with numerous sequels, remakes, or reboots, so to see a film this unique and original is the breath of fresh air I desperately needed. The storyline for Kubo is one that takes so many interesting and unique turns that I was constantly involved in where the story was going next.
There is not much more I can say about how much Kubo and the Two Strings does right. This is an animation film that has fun for both kids and adults, while also being both funny and emotionally impactful from the opening shot to its conclusion.
If I were to say anything bad about Kubo, I would have to say that there are some slight lapses in the middle of the film where I felt the movie was slowing up. Besides that, I think the main villain could have been better developed, and if he or she were to have been, the ending could have been even more spectacular.
Kubo and the Two Strings is not only up there with Zootopia as one of the best animated movies of the year, it is also one of the best films of the year. The animation is stunning, the voice performances are tremendous, the comedy is always successful, and the story is compelling and unique. This is a movie that will probably underperform at the box office, and that is truly a shame. I cannot recommend Kubo enough to anyone of all ages because Kubo and the Two Strings is a work of art.
What did you think of Kubo and the Two Strings? Comment below with what you think.