For all of this movie’s majestic and luscious animation, the same cannot be said for its storytelling. Kubo and The Two Strings is a visual masterpiece, becoming one of the most gorgeously animated movies of the decade. Unfortunately, the movie suffers from a weak story that is written through a formulaic hero’s journey. While its colorful blanket of animation manages to bring its narrative to life, it isn’t much of an interesting one in the first place. Laika Entertainment, the studio behind this and other movies such as Coraline and Corpse Bride, puts more effort into producing a visual spectacle instead of writing a captivating and meticulous tale.
There’s a lot to unpack regarding my criticisms. The antagonists are dull and lack any meaningful backstory and motivations. They’re the typical evil villains who hate how weak humanity is because of… love. It’s a conflict that’s been done before, and the movie brings nothing new to the table. It’s a shame because these characters had a lot of potential in becoming a significant driving force for stirring interesting conflict, but at the end of the day, are degraded into the caricatures of a generic evil villain.
The structure of this movie is predictable and bare, with the main character and his sidekicks finding three items in order to beat the main villain with side villains serving as obstacles. This is another reason why the story is so weak and simple: it lacks any sort of complexity and depth. Behind the animation is just a mediocre and uninteresting story. The ending is incredibly rushed, to the point of almost making the entire film crumble due to how underwhelming it is. The themes present about family and memory are great on paper, but in this case, lack in its execution.
I wish this movie was more than its animation, but it seems that Kubo and The Two Strings is nothing but a visual treat with nothing to offer with its bland storytelling.