“If you must blink, do it now.” This is the first line in the movie, delivered by Kubo. This line sets us up for a whirl-wind story of a young boy named Kubo, a storyteller of the magical kind. Kubo is a kind-hearted and fun-loving boy who tells magnificent stories of a Samurai warrior and his battles. Kubo’s stories come to life as he narrates using his two-stringed instrument and origami paper. I was instantly captivated by this boy and his musical stories, the magic behind it and what was to come.
Kubo unknowingly unleashes more magic that soon takes him into another world, on a journey searching for magical items that will help him defeat his enemy and take him home. In this world he is protected by Monkey – an incarnation of a monkey charm he held as a boy. Monkey (Charlize Theron) is a no-nonsense character who is focused only on protecting Kubo. But we soon see that behind her seemingly hard-nosed ways she is a loving and quite witty creature.
Kubo and Monkey later discover Beetle – a large, bulky beetle who has the bravado of a warrior but has suffered memory loss from a sorcerer’s curse. Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) quickly became my favorite character in the movie with his pleasant and funny personality. The chemistry between Monkey and Beetle is quite entertaining and the two really make the movie. Between Monkey’s wit and dry humor and Beetles slap-stick style these two characters keep us laughing throughout the movie.
Through many battles and challenges Kubo learns the pain of betrayal and the value of family. He even learns forgiveness over hate – a difficult lesson to teach in an animated movie, but one that was done beautify.
The movie is enveloped in delightful music. The animation is superb. The story, however, felt long in the middle and seemed to drag out before getting to the meat of the story. I did feel that after the drag, there was a bit of a rush to wrap up the movie, making the ending feel a bit abrupt. The story line is also a little dark (think Tim Burton-like). That being said, it as a good movie to see and one that would be enjoyed by kids and adults.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of the movie Kubo and the Two Strings.