Kubo is a story of a young boy's journey to recover the ancient armor his father once sought to defeat the cold Moon King. Aiding him are a serious monkey, a wisecracking samurai beetle-man, and the remnant of his mother's magic through a guitar and paper origami.
In the sea of good to mediocre animated films that focus on laughs and invoking easy emotions, Kubo stands out as a solid movie that manages to present a deep authentic feeling story while still being able to inject a healthy dose of good comedy. The poeple and the world feel alive thanks in part to the great interactions of the characters and the rich mythology of the world.
On the visual side, the stopmotion and CGI techniques are truly a beauty to behold and the effects they were able to achieve really add to the wonder aspect of the movie. From paper origami magic to action sequences the animation accomplishes and breathes it's own special life into the scenes.
Pacing wise the story falters a little here and there. A few moments seem a little too slow or slightly too long but overall nothing too grievous.
The themes are definitely one of the movie's strongest points. The classic family, lost loved ones, and growing up themes are there, but also included is the power of stories and how they stay, affect, and change with us. There's a slight melancholy edge in the undertone of the movie that allows these themes hit home. If nothing else, Kubo will definitely provoke a few thoughts.
Overall Kubo and the Two Strings is a very well done movie I wholeheartedly recommend. It may not be out-of-your-seat fantastic but it is an extremely solid and enjoyable film with rich story, likable characters, and thoughtful themes. If you like a good adventure movie that appeals to more than just kids than this is the film for you.