Release date: August 19, 2016
Country: United States
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family
Length: 1h 42min
Kubo mesmerizes the people in his village with his magical gift for spinning wild tales with origami. When he accidentally summons an evil spirit seeking vengeance, Kubo is forced to go on a quest to solve the mystery of his fallen samurai father and his mystical weaponry, as well as discover his own magical powers. — Simkl
— Spoilers available! Do not read if you want to watch the movie. —
Before you go on reading, I will have to remind you that I didn't write any sort of review in ages. I am also a very subjective reviewer, so the chances to see me being biased towards certain characters, stories, etc. are there.
At any rate, I have to also let you know that before I even watched this movie, I had no knowledge of it. I simply browsed through Google, searching for an animated movie I might take interest in and there we were, watching "Kubo and the Two Strings" with my mom while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate. Yes, you heard me right. I watched it with my mom.
Moving on, according to Wikipedia, this movie is set in medieval Japan; most probably during the Kamakura period since samurais are mentioned. Otherwise, please do correct me if I am wrong as I do not know much of Japan's history. Other than that, the Bon festival also takes up a huge meaning.
The plot itself was unique in its own way and the progression of it was great as well. Obviously, you would be asking yourself a few questions like how did the mother transfer her soul into the monkey charm while battling her sisters? Well, I was wondering that too once it has been revealed that "Mr. Monkey" was Kubo's mother.
The ending was expected, yet unexpected if I can say it like this? The fact that the Moon Lord--a.k.a Kubo's grandfather--turned mortal after being stripped off of his powers was a bit confusing, especially since it's never stated why and how he turned into an obsessed immortal who orders his daughters to kill any man who wears some sort of magical/powerful armor.
My theory would be, it has something to do with Kubo's grandmother who probably died when Saraitu (Kubo's mother) and her sisters were still young. If that's the case, he might've made a contract with the devil for everlasting life for the rest of the family, with the condition of sacrificing his sigth/eyes and having to keep his position in any way possible? I could be wrong though, plus the theory is just a guess.
What was the problem and how was it solved? Finding the armor and defeating the Moon Lord sounds easy peasy; but if I was in Kubo's shoes, I might've had trouble with finding courage to just jump into the sea during a storm and facing huge eyeballs who look into my soul to keep me forever underwater. Then there's this really big skeleton in the beginning as well which reminded me a lot of the Shingeki no Kyojin scene when Eren bit his own arm to transform while protecting Mikasa and Armin from Kitz Weilman's attack. Lesson learned during this scene, do not touch anything unless you want to be attacked by a really big skeleton with knives and swords stuck on its head. Although Beetle really beat me to that.
Otherwise, be smart and just use your magical shamisen, because what for did he have it anyway? Any story using magic in it always mentions how memories are the strongest kind of magic in this world. Best example, a very classic book series: Harry Potter. But then if we went for the short ride, where would have our movie gone to?
For a movie which lasts almost two hours, I have to say that they did a great job with keeping the number of characters to a minimum. You're introduced to three types; namely the protagonists, the antagonists and the also the side characters who also play an important role once you dive further into the movie. It wasn't heavily packed, yet also not too empty.
Out of all characters though, I believe Kubo had the perfect development in it, despite of being in his teens. Children are supposed to be curious
Overall Personal Opinion