Kubo and the Two Strings movie poster
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Kubo and the Two Strings
Kubo and the Two Strings movie poster

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

Colorful. Beautiful. Entertaining. Kubo and the Two Strings is one of the best animated movies of the year, despite my best efforts to convince myself that it would be one of the worst.

For months leading up to the film’s release, I actively zoned out when trailers for the movie, about a boy who must go on an adventure to retrieve three pieces of armor to save himself and stop his evil, mystical uncle, appeared on screen. I can’t point my finger on it, but Kubo looked like a complete snoozefest to me, made worse by a hook involving special powers through musical instrument.

Surprisingly, Kubo and the Two Strings proved to be anything but, a real highlight that deserves to be considered for an Academy Award (though I still lean toward Zootopia, if for no other reason than it has more repeat watching potential).

A stop-motion film that seems to defy any limitation, Kubo is absolutely beautiful to look at, the kind of stunner you notice out of the corner of your eye and look back repeatedly to catch every detail. Combined with gorgeous cinematography, vivid color and endless imagination, the movie is easily one of the best-looking and creative films of the year.

Appearance aside, Kubo presents an entertaining, Japanese-infused story that deftly balances humor and adventure, fun and suspense. The movie is funnier than I was expecting--by no means Zootopia funny--thanks to a script that organically pulses with humor despite a story that has serious undertones. And the adventure is fun, too, thanks to several well-made action sequences and many likable, unique characters.

Kubo and the Two Strings unfortunately didn’t do a whole lot in theaters--maybe people like me looked at it and were scared by its art-over-entertainment vibe--but now that the movie is on Blu-ray, you have the opportunity to make up for your mistake.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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