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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 armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.

Director:

Travis Knight

Writers:

Marc Haimes (screenplay by), Chris Butler (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,760 ( 477)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Art Parkinson ... Kubo (voice)
Charlize Theron ... Monkey (voice)
Ralph Fiennes ... Moon King (voice)
Brenda Vaccaro ... Kameyo (voice)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ... Hashi (voice)
Meyrick Murphy ... Mari (voice)
George Takei ... Hosato (voice)
Rooney Mara ... The Sisters (voice)
Matthew McConaughey ... Beetle (voice)
Minae Noji ... Minae (voice)
Alpha Takahashi ... Aiko (voice)
Laura Miro Laura Miro ... Miho (voice)
Ken Takemoto Ken Takemoto ... Ken (voice)
Aaron Aoki ... Villager (voice)
Luke Donaldson Luke Donaldson ... Villager (voice)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The quest begins See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kubo - den modige samurai See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,608,372, 19 August 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$48,023,088

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,257,813
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos | DTS (DTS: X) (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Storyboard artist Vera Brosgol's last film for Laika studios. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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

At the end of the closing credits, the Laika production logo displays tributes to its previous films:
  • a cat runs through a door (from Coraline (2009))
  • a zombie's hand and Norman's head (from ParaNorman (2012))
  • some Boxtrolls (from The Boxtrolls (2014))
  • and finally, Kubo himself appears.
See more »

Connections

References Yojimbo (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Written by George Harrison
Published by Harrisongs, Ltd. (ASCAP)
Performed by Regina Spektor
Arranged by Dario Marianelli
Shamisen solo by Kevin Kmetz (as Kevin Masaya Kmetz)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Half-baked mishmash
20 September 2016 | by austelwxSee all my reviews

After hearing a lot of buzz about "Kubo," I had high hopes for this movie. Ultimately though, it's a very mediocre film that never delivers anything satisfying unless you're just in it for the spectacle. All the massive hype for this film left me hugely disappointed, so I put some thought into what went wrong with the story & the characters.

It feels like they took 15 scripts and hastily patched them together in one afternoon. The central concept is that Kubo has magic powers to bring origami figures to life, but the movie COMPLETELY forgets this by the third act and it never comes up again. When the movie forgets its basic plot hook, you know the script is a colossal mess.

There are lots of half-baked ideas that go absolutely nowhere: Kubo has an old lady friend who quickly disappears and never does anything important. He hears that his village has burned down (for all he knows, killing everyone he's ever known), but in the next scene he's laughing and cheerful like nothing happened. The villain has no coherent goal. The dialogue consists of clichés, followed by lousy comic relief, followed by characters tediously monologuing like they're trying to put you to sleep. Even though it hits you over the head with these monologues, the movie fails to convey any actual message or point!

The plot is borderline nonexistent, so the characters should be the backbone of the film. Let's look at the cast! Kubo himself has as much personality as a sheet of cardboard. He had no clear motive at any point; you never relate to him or care about him. He just muddled through the story like a gutless blank slate.

He's helped on his journey by a monkey, who is the worst "sassy sidekick" I've ever seen. She just sounds surly and petulant most of the time; I guess it's supposed to be funny, but it's only annoying. Her voicework is horribly directed. When she doesn't sound whiny, she blandly recites lines in a stilted, melodramatic way. There's a plot twist that's supposed to make her more relatable, but it just comes across as cheesy melodrama & adds nothing to the story. The script claims that she has a meaningful relationship with Kubo, but the characters never clicked or showed chemistry.

Kubo is also joined by a comical & jolly samurai, who is easily the only likable character in the film. He's lively, he's upbeat, and we actually SEE him form a friendship with Kubo. He never builds any real depth though; there were many chances to show a more serious or grim side under his cheerful exterior, but he stays a 2-dimensional goofball. When that's the best part of the story, it doesn't bode well.

Due to the flat characters and nonexistent storyline, there was no tension whatsoever in the film. There were incredibly bland action scenes, but there was no sense of stakes or risk. For instance, this movie features a giant skeleton monster and manages to make him look harmless and boring, slooowwwwly shuffling along like he's half- asleep. There are no thrills, no excitement, no heart. You can tell people put a lot of hours and money into the film, but absolutely no sincerity or sense of purpose.

That's a lot of words, but I walked out of this movie very disappointed and wanted to give a clear reason why. Overall, "Kubo" is a mediocre popcorn flick. The technical animation quality is good, but it's a big- budget Hollywood production so that's no impressive achievement. Many people will be easily-impressed by the big-budget effects, but if you want a film with an actual story, decent characters, heart, competent voice directing, and/or a POINT, you will miss absolutely nothing if you skip "Kubo".


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