I watched Kubo and the Two Strings after having wanted to for months now. There’s a soft spot in my heart for stop-animation movies, and Kubo is no exception. Be warned, spoilers ahead.

So, Kubo doesn’t offer an original story per se. There are traditional tropes:

  • Star-crossed lovers (Kubo’s parents)
  • A talented boy born from these star-crossed lovers (Kubo)
  • An immortal god who is imperfect in his perfection because he blind to the vulnerability and the power of love/memory/emotions associated with being human/mortal

However, where Kubo fails in its storyline originality, it excels in the magic of its storytelling. The visual effects are really impressive. The movie is a stop-motion animated movie, yet it is so detailed. I was very impressed with how they were able to animate to the granularity of single hair strands (Kubo and his mom), or water on fur (the monkey). I watched a couple of “making of” videos and it made me even more impressed by the amount of attention Laika (the studio that made Kubo) gave to detail. Here’s one on youtube and here’s an interview with the Verge. The voice actors were also cast really well. Although, the scene change from mom to monkey (i.e. when Kubo got blasted to the top of the blizzard-ridden mountain) made it pretty obvious that the monkey was mom…..using the same actor/actress for related characters is an age-old technique by story tellers, haha.

So, was Kubo a memorable story? Meh. However, it was an artfully told story. Very beautifully done. I’d give the movie an 8/10. Oh and Regina Spektor’s cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is pretty amazing too.