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Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

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A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
146 ( 33)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 18 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kubo (voice)
Monkey (voice)
Moon King (voice)
Kameyo (voice)
Hashi (voice)
Mari (voice)
Hosato (voice)
The Sisters (voice)
Beetle (voice)
Minae (voice)
Aiko (voice)
Miho (voice)
Ken (voice)
Aaron Aoki ...
Villager (voice)
Villager (voice)


Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The quest begins See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, action and peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

19 August 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kubo - den modige samurai  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,608,372 (USA) (19 August 2016)


$48,019,281 (USA) (25 November 2016)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Consists of at least 145.000 photographs turned into a stop-motion film. See more »


Kubo is told in his dream to "follow the setting sun" in order to find the helmet. He immediately wakes up and leads his group into the rising sun. Then the shadows indicate light is behind them, then in front again. See more »


[first lines]
Kubo: [narrating] 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.
[baby crying]
Kubo: His name is Kubo. His grandfather stole something from him. And that really is the least of it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Focus and Laika logos at the film's start are formed by folding and then unfolding sheets of paper, anticipating Kubo's origami figures in the movie itself. See more »


References Gegege no Kitarô (1968) See more »


We Rise
Performed by San Holo
See more »

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User Reviews

Bravo, Kubo!
23 August 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(RATING: ☆☆☆☆½ out of 5 )


IN BRIEF: An animated film brimming with stunning visuals.


SYNOPSIS: A young boy goes on a quest to find a magic helmet and armor to protect himself and others from evil forces.

JIM'S REVIEW: Laika Studios (Coraline. ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls) has long been pioneers in stop-motion animation, a time-consuming and difficult art form. This studio has always set a high bar in terms of animation, although its storytelling never quite equal that pinnacle of success. With Kubo and the Two Strings, it has finally combined the two and has created a joyous and totally satisfying film experience.

Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a master storyteller who charms the villagers with his imaginative tales and origami skills. As his stories unfold, literally, so does this film. Colorful sheets of handmade papers glide through the air and form various objects in such graceful and enthralling ways, animation-wise. We learn of his story, of his past life, and the dangers that await in his future. We meet Kubo and begin his journey with new comrades like Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) as they travel from one peril to the next.

The screenplay by Mark Haimes and Chris Butler has an epic feel and keeps the action sequences moving at a fast pace after a leisure beginning as its sets up its character and the interrelationships of this trio of adventurers. The direction by Travis Knight is impeccable. He envisions surreal worlds that are masterful created by him and his creative team. In general, the voice-over work is strong and appealing too, especially by Ms. Theron, Ralph Fiennes as the Moon King, and Master Parkinson in the title role. There is also fine work from George Takei, Brenda Vacarro, and Rooney Mara in smaller roles. However, Mr. McConaughey's vocals never quite blend with his character, but, in his defense, the character needed better development on the written page and in its animated form.

At times, the words sound like second-rate bromides from a fortune cookie factory, but the imagery is consistently outstanding and awesome to behold. There is so much artistry that it overwhelms...in the best of ways. A magical sword cuts waves in two...a large red skeleton looms over its prey...black smoke bellows around a village, enveloping it...a sea of glowing eyes fills its watery surroundings...blue paper-folded birds fly with their real counterparts before rapidly converting into mosquitoes...golden leaves float effortlessly and create a ship of wonders. (One long and memorable sequence involving a fluorescent metallic serpent is spectacular state-of-the-art animation.)

Beside the remarkable stop motion work, special mention must go to Dario Marinelli and his musical score which melds perfectly with the imagery on screen. His use of atonal chords and dissonance reflect the Japanese sounds beautifully and enhance the overall impact of the film.

There are some minor, very minor. missteps along the way (Mr. McConaughey disappoints whenever his Southern drawl slips in and out of character, most jarringly, the spiritual symbolism of the narrative gets heavy-handed, and the dialogue has a modern edginess that conflicts with this ancient narrative story-line).

That said, Kubo and the Two Strings, is easily one of the best animated films this year...and one of the best films as well. Bravo, Kubo!

17 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Huge Disappointment theothercoraline
This Movie Isn't Really That Good. bos-57818
My interpretation of the film agraciotti
Too slick stop-motion.......What's the point? fee_fur
Over rated seanfinnau
Bordering on cultural appropriation? cheryl-17369
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