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Movie Breakdown: Kubo And The Two Strings

August 16, 2016


Pre-Screening Stance:

I hadn’t even heard of Kubo or his two strings until I started getting slammed with TV spots for the film while watching the Olympics.  It looks good though.  Or maybe I’ve just been so inundated with “IT’S GREAT!” quotes that I feel the need to agree?  Guess we’ll see.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Kubo And The Two Strings is a nice late-summer gift.  The film, which is a beautiful mix of CG and stop motion, is about Kubo, a one-eyed boy who supports himself (and his despondent mother) by telling stories with origami figures that come to life whenever he strums his shamisen (a traditional Japanese three-stringed lute).  It’s not a great life, but Kubo makes the best of it and all is well … until he accidentally reveals his location to some wicked family members who want to do him harm.  This is when Kubo’s quest to save himself begins.  I know that sounds way serious – and it is in some parts, as the boy and his unlikely crew (a monkey, a beetle and a miniature origami samurai) are regularly put in scary/dangerous situations – but from the get-go director Travis Knight mixes in the right amount of humor and heart, and that steadily provides the adventure film with an overall endearing tone.

There are a couple of things – mainly some wonky voice work and a rushed-feeling third act – in Kubo And The Two Strings that have me unwillingly to declare it as good as Pete’s Dragon or Finding Dory, but it’s got such a neat story and an even neater look that I legit think it would be silly for you to not scoop up the kids and head to the theater this weekend.

One Last Thought:

I’m split on whether or not Matthew McConaughey should be doing voice work.  He’s got such a unique drawl that it’s actually kind of distracting whenever his character speaks.

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