Kubo and the Two Strings: A Review

Once every week or so, a friend comes over to my house for a long standing movie/tv night with the roommates. I’ve occasionally skipped out if I’ve had other things going on, missed an episode or two of the series they’ve been watching, or have placed writing time (productive) over movie time (consumptive). This week is a week that I’m glad I did not skip out. This was the week we watched a charming film called Kubo and the Two Strings.

If you’ve never heard of this movie, that’s not surprising. Apparently not many people have, based on their box office numbers. But now you’ve heard of it, and you really have no reason not to at least watch the trailer.

The first paragraph of dialogue one of my favorites in any film. It’s not that much a spoiler, as they are literally the first words you hear.

If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned: If you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you – even for an instant – then our hero will surely perish.

If that doesn’t make you want to watch the film, I’m not sure what will, but I’m going to keep trying to convince you anyway.

Kubo is a coming of age story. Kubo is an adventure story. It is a story about magic and love and sacrifice and perseverance. Kubo is a story about the fundamentals of humanity.

Kubo is technically magnificent. The film is beautifully animated. Stop motion animation, no less, so smooth and so gorgeous that you’d swear it would have to be CG until you watch the special features.  The voice acting is superb, to the point where I’d sometimes forget that I was watching an animated film. But the most impressive thing was the music. The score is available on Spotify if you don’t feel like watching a beautiful, amazing, heart wrenching film.

Did I mention that yet? By the end, pretty much everyone in the room had shed a few tears. I’d be surprised if I could find anyone that didn’t have a few heart strings plucked.

I guess this is less a review than a love letter to a sweet, fun, and technically amazing film. If you’ve not seen it, you really should give it a shot, and if you have, but haven’t seen it in a while, then maybe it’s time to watch it again.

Fred’s Rating: 9.5/10 (mainly because no film is perfect)


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