The Two Strings Pull at Your Heartstrings

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Movie Review

Nick Nagle


Kubo and the Two Strings is an amazing action/adventure animated movie. Travis Knight, the director of Kubo, is also the creator of other stop-motion films such as ParaNorman (2012) and The Boxtrolls (2014). Knight explores mature themes for adult and young audiences alike. It is an eye opener to some of the most difficult challenges life has to offer: loss, betrayal, and forgiveness. The film has a surprisingly original story for an animated movie. The whole movie was a breathtaking, immersive experience that I would highly recommend for everyone to see.

The voice actors in Kubo and the Two Strings were phenomenal. They helped make the story so much more alluring. Kubo stars Art Parkinson from HBO’s Game of Thrones as Kubo. Matthew McConaughey voices Beetle, a samurai who has lost his memory and accompanies Kubo. Charlize Theron plays the voice of Monkey who joins Kubo on his perilous journey. Ralph Fiennes, who many know from the Harry Potter series as Lord Voldemort, returns to the screen as another villain – the Moon King. Each of these actors helps bring each of these clay characters to life.

Kubo has many more adult themes than one would think for a children’s movie. Although the movie could be considered “too complex” for young audience members to follow, it is still possible to pick out the essential themes of the story. The story follows Kubo who lives alone with his injured mother in a secluded cave near a small Japanese village. Kubo’s mother was betrayed by her sisters and father when they tried to steal Kubo away from her. She left her family and home behind in order to escape and save her son. There are also many different conflicts throughout the movie. Good versus evil, family against family, and Kubo’s own interpersonal conflict. Kubo learns to grieve, forgive, and move on from the past. These skills are very complicated to teach children, but I believe this movie helps demonstrate them effectively. Therefore, I’d recommend this movie for children at least ten years of age and up.


The story of Kubo is set in Japan. When Kubo’s peaceful life is disturbed by a shadow of the past, he must join his newfound companions Monkey and Beetle, on an adventure to save his family. Along the way, more secrets of the past resurface, and everything is not as it seems. Kubo and his family will each have to make their sacrifices to stop the darkness of the Moon King that is looming over their world. And many more secrets lie ahead for Kubo and his family to discover. Who is Kubo’s father? What does the Moon King want with Kubo? What secrets have yet to be discovered?

Kubo and the Two Strings is a movie that I would highly recommend. It was a realistic and revelating experience for me. I loved Kubo as the young hero who used his resourcefulness to overcome all of the challenges he faced. The plot was very original and well thought out. The movie was entirely made out of clay which is hard to believe considering how visually stunning it is. The villains made the story so much alluring. Every time I saw them, it sent shivers down my spine. The ending was satisfying and appropriately reflected the story as a whole. I think all audiences can benefit from watching this movie, because it tells an eye-opening story about grief, betrayal, and forgiveness.