Trailer, About, About Kubo and the Two Strings, Cast & Crew, Critic Reviews
Kubo and the Two Strings is a 2016 American stop-motion animated action fantasy film produced by Laika. It is directed by Travis Knight (in his feature directorial debut) with a screenplay by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler from a story by Shannon Tindle and Marc Haimes, and it stars the voice roles of Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, Rooney Mara, and Matthew McConaughey. Set in feudal Japan, the film revolves around Kubo, a young boy who wields a magical shamisen (a Japanese stringed instrument) and whose left eye was stolen during infancy. Accompanied by an anthropomorphic snow monkey and beetle, he must embark on a quest to defeat his mother’s evil twin Sisters and his power-hungry grandfather, the Moon King, who is responsible for stealing his left eye. Laika’s production designer Shannon Tindle pitched the fantasy story stop-motion animated film based on samurais to Knight.
He was enthusiastic about the project by owing partly his affinity towards both the “epic fantasy” genre as well as Japanese culture in general, despite the studio never ventured into the genre before. Assistance came from 3D printing firm Stratasys who allowed Laika to use their newest technologies in exchange for feedback on them. According to Knight, he mentioned that the story for the film was partly inspired by works of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. Dario Marianelli, who composed the music for Laika’s one prior film, returned to compose the film’s musical score for its second. Kubo and the Two Strings premiered at Melbourne International Film Festival on August 13, 2016 and was released by Focus Features in the United States on August 19. The film received critical acclaim for its craftsmanship, musical score, and story, but received criticism for its perceived whitewashing casting choice, and it was a box-office disappointment, grossing $77 million worldwide against a $60 million budget.
About Kubo and the Two Strings:
Young Kubo’s (Art Parkinson) peaceful existence comes crashing down when he accidentally summons a vengeful spirit from the past. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) to unlock a secret legacy. Armed with a magical instrument, Kubo must battle the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) and other gods and monsters to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known.
- Rating: PG (Scary Images| Action and Peril| Thematic Elements)
- Genre: Kids & family, Fantasy, Adventure, Action, Animation
- Original Language: English
- Director: Travis Knight
- Producer: Arianne Sutner, Travis Knight
- Writer: Marc Haimes, Chris Butler
- Release Date (Theaters): Aug 19, 2016 Wide
- Release Date (Streaming): Nov 22, 2016
- Box Office (Gross USA): $48.0M
- Runtime: 1h 42m
- Distributor: Focus Features
- Production Co: Laika, Focus Features
- Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
- Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)
Cast & Crew:
- Moon King
- The Sisters
Sweeping tableaux, a wonderful voice cast and adventure that feels genuinely folkloric make this a film that definitely deserves to be taken out of cellophane.December 27, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
A glorious flight of the imagination.October 10, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
It explores unexpectedly profound ideas of rebirth and destiny rewritten, like origami paper sheets refolded into another form.
September 11, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
With utmost care applied to its every shot, the adults will be marvelling as much as the youngsters.
September 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
The animation? Well, it robs you of breath, over and over again.
September 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Arrives as cherishable proof that it is still possible, amid heightened commercial imperatives, for digimators to push for reflective, affecting art.
September 8, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
An adventure marked by dark, occasionally heavy themes, and resounding tenderness.
April 11, 2022 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Kubo and the Two Strings leaps off the screen with an original foreign folk tale that employs a rich originality and builds a strong base of emotional connection.
February 12, 2022 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
It’s a visually striking picture, drawing much of its style from various Japanese modes of artistic expression, both ancient (origami) and modern (Miyazaki).
October 15, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
With stunning animation and heart-warming storytelling, Laika hits the nail on the head with this one and shows off a moving and powerful coming-of-age story…
October 9, 2021 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…