I can’t say I knew much about Kubo and the Two Strings before deciding to watch it. I only had seen a small trailer, noticing it had something to do with samurais and Japanese ghosts which I am a sucker for (it’s one of the reasons why I watched Keanu Reeves’ awful 47 Ronin – bad times!).
The film has a fairly simple story – Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a young boy with a gift that allows him to create things using origami and playing a shamisen (a traditional 3 stringed Japanese instrument). He looks after his mom, and entertains the local village, while also being the grandson of the jealous Moon King. His mother was part of the immortal realm but left when she fell in love with a samurai who was on a quest.
Things go sideways when his mom’s sisters attack attempting to steal his second eye, leaving his village in pieces and his mother dead after she uses the last of her powers to protect him. Kubo then sets upon a quest to find a sword, helmet, and armor that he can use to defeat them and the evil Moon King. He is helped by a monkey played by Charlize Theron and a samurai beetle by Matthew McConaughey.
Kubo and the Two Strings reminded me a lot of The Book of Life for some reason but just not on the same level. It has all the standard makings of a fun little movie but for some reason the action was lacking and the dialogue boring. The animation was the only thing that stood out but wasn’t enough to keep my attention, instead check out ParaNorman or Coraline which is from the same production company. I did love the Regina Spektor cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps originally by The Beatles at the end!