I have been waiting for this movie. After seeing so many generic animations this year, I was really looking forward to it since the first trailer came out. I was sincerely hoping that it would at least be something I could recommend.
However, not only could I recommend this movie, but Kubo and the Two Strings exceeds recommendation. This is by far the best animated film I have seen all year and maybe the past couple of years before it.
There’s a certain level of depth to this animation. It seems so simple and straight-forward, yet carries so much depth of raw emotion. When characters show joy, fear, or sorrow, you can feel it in their faces.
Aside from the emotions in the facial expressions, the animation as a whole is such a delight to experience. The entire time I watched this movie, I could feel the effort that was put into the execution of its elements.
The voice acting and dialogue are both spectacular as well. Considering much of the beetle-guy’s humor is random and slapstick-y, there was never a time where I felt annoyed by him being there (and trust me, I almost always hate slapstick). The beetle-man’s personality, with his joviality and forgetfulness, contrasted hilariously well with the monkey’s sternness and solemness. The movie makes it effortless to care about the characters and their struggles.
But the reason that the slapstick worked is because all of the humor seemed like it served a purpose; all the jokes felt like they were being true to the characters being developed instead of trying to conjure up an array of cheap laughs.
This is not even to mention that this children’s film successfully made me feel sincere sadness, warmth, things that most adult films have a hard time mustering up. This is entirely due to just how genuine this whole movie feels.
Among all these well-executed elements is a story that highlights themes and ideas such as the importance of family, forgiveness, and even accepting one’s mortality (to name a few). I thought many of these themes were fitting and were treated with respect.
If there’s any complaints I have about the film, it’s that I found a couple story elements to be entirely predictable. I was able to call quite a few twists well before they even happened. That being said… if that’s the biggest criticism I can come up with, I find myself having a hard time caring.
Kubo and the Two Strings is a fantastic movie with sublime animation, an extremely pleasant soundtrack, and a genuine story that my wife and I were able to discuss and mull over well after we left the theater. I honestly can’t recommend this movie enough; it is one of my favorite films I have seen all year and quite honestly the only animation this year that is worth watching, and I’m giving this movie a 9 out of 10.