Kubo and the two strings is a heart warming, coming of age movie, for the whole family. Adults, you will appericate the story line and the plight that Kubo undergoes. Kids will love the animation and the characters.
From the moment that the movie started, I fought back the tears. You see a mother and baby in the middle of the ocean one moment and the next, you see them ship wrecked on a beach. You skip forward a few years to when Kubo is about the age of ten. He is now a caregiver for his mother who you come to understand as mentally ill, with something like alzheimer's or dementia.
Daily young Kubo goes into the neighboring village and tells fantastic stories of a Samurai Knight, and how he battles the evil Moon King and his army, all while playing his Sangen (a Japanese Guitar) and creating Origami creatures for the story. But as the bells ring for night to come forth, Kubo runs home.
It seems that his mother only "comes to life" when its night time. And then shortly there after returns to a catatonic state.
One day while in the village an old beggar woman who befriended him tells him a story of how she speaks with her dead husband at night during a certain ritual. Kubo, who is confused and longing to know anything about his father who was said to be the greatest Samurai, goes to the ancestral resting place and tries to summon his father.
Time gets away from him and night befalls rather quickly. Soon two masked spectral spirits appear, and tell him that they are his aunts. Kubo is then told the reason he is missing an eye is due to his grandfather who only wanted to have his other eye so that he could join them in the heavens. Kubo begins running back to the village. The two spirits attack and destroy the village. When they are almost upon him, his mother shows up and uses the last of her magics to activate a totem and to create wings to whisk him away to safety, far away from his blood thirsty aunts. Kubo then wakes up in a vast frozen waste land with a monkey looking after him. The monkey begins to address Kubo, telling him that they need to go on this quest to find a magical suite of armor that his father once wore. So Kubo and Monkey set off on a quest. Kubo is awaken by the monkey, saying that the origami papers that he carried in his pack, were flying around and that in his sleep he created an origami Samurai. The same Samurai from his stories. This little paper guardian, shows them the way to the amor's pieces, which consist of a sword, a breast plate, and a helmet. Along the way they come across a Beetle who was once a Samurai who was cursed to live the rest of his life as a beetle. After that the unlikely foursome come across a cave that has the sword in it. But much like Kubos life, it was not an easy task to retrieve it as it awakened a tall skeleton warrior, which they had to defeat.
They then come to a large body of water, which Kubo uses his magic and his Samgen to create a boat made out of leaves. Monkey exclaims to him how his power is growing. As they set sail, the little paper Samurai point out that the breast plate is at the bottom of the water. Kubo remembering a story that his mother told him, of eyes that show you what you want to see most, lived at the bottom of the water. Beetle offers to dive in and look for the breast plate as "beetles can hold their breaths for a really long time under water, and are great swimmers." After quite some time passes Kubo dives in after Beetle and the breast plate. Monkey is then attacked by one of the evil aunts. While Kubo is under the water he finds the breast plate, and the eyes. They show him that the Monkey is actually his mother in the form of a spirit totem (MIND BLOWN)...Becoming dazzled by the eyes, he begins to drowned. Beetle swoops in and begins shooting the eyes and rescues Kubo.
During this time Monkey is battling one of the aunts and defeats her. Kubo and the gang then continue their quest to find the helmet, which is back at his fathers fort.
Once back at the fort one of the aunts reveals to Kubo and to Monkey that Beetle is actually Kubos father. So Kubo now armed with this new knowledge is able to defeat his aunt, but not after losing both his parents again.
Kubo then uses his magic, to fly back to his village to adorn the helmet to complete his suite of armor. He then has to battle his grandfather The Moon King. At which point The Moon King transforms into a giant centipede like demon. Kubo uses his wits, and magic, to defeat his grandfather and makes him mortal. In his mortal state he loses his memories, and the village people tell him how he was a just and honest man, and how he was kind. The story ends on an upswing.
Over all the movie was really good. I love how engaging it was, and all the attention to detail they provided in it since it was a stop motion claymation. I highly recommend this for any family night.