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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
1,670 ( 198)
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 ... Miho (voice)
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:

Be bold. Be brave. Be epic 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

The director's commentary claims the film is also a homage to Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki (both were inspirations for this film), and The Beatles (as captured by the end-credits song) for personal musical memories of his family. 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 The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) 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

 
Well crafted visuals, paper thin story.
13 October 2016 | by DeathstrykeSee all my reviews

I expected big things from Kubo. Those expectations were met on a purely superficial level. The film looks beautiful and the meticulousness of the stop motion craft is clear for all to see, but the story had major problems.

After the striking opening of mother and son caught in a tumultuous storm that dashes them against rocks and washes both ashore, we have a watchable, if slightly dull 20 minutes of exposition and establishing character goals before it quickly devolves into a predictable rehash of the 3 act hero structure. The young, one-eyed, but infinitely resourceful Kubo sets off on a quest to find 3 fabled pieces of armour so he can do battle with his evil grandfather up in the heavens, who just can't stand humans and their silly "feels" (but you know of course that 'feels' are exactly what will triumph in the end (cue eye-roll)).

The ease in which Kubo finds these items in such quick succession doesn't really feel suitably epic and there's no real sense of how far he actually has to travel, he just always conveniently ends up right where he needs to be. There's no real sense of danger either, despite the odious threat of his sinister aunts coming to steal his good eye so they might blind him to humanity, you never once feel like this might actually happen.

Overall, it felt to me like the writers thought up a bunch of cool set pieces they could throw at the viewer, and then tried to weave a script around those. The 'banter' between Kubo's companions Monkey and Beatle, serves as empty filler between action sequences; Their constant squabbling is over-played and annoying. It also bugged me that despite the lovingly realized visual depiction of ancient Japan, the characters acted and sounded so American.

The menacing twin aunts (voiced by Rooney Mara) and the fantastic origami action were high points and very entertaining. However, mostly I was bored and consciously predicting lazy story arcs. It just wasn't a satisfying experience and it's a shame for Laika to spend so much time and effort crafting animation for a contrived, generic story which failed to deliver any emotional weight.


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