We first meet Kubo as he and his mother wash up on an unfamiliar seashore having survived an attack that cost the infant his eye thanks to his Grandfather, the Moon King. It also cost him his father, a mighty Samurai, and his mother’s grasp on reality as she stares into the sun all day and loses more and more of her memory at night. When her sisters return to try to steal Kubo’s other eye, she sacrifices herself and sends our hero on a mythic quest to find his father’s armor and weapons in order to defeat the Moon King. Traveling with him is strong-willed yet warm Monkey and heroic yet not-so-bright Beetle.
The world they occupy is a magical, feudal Japan where paper comes to life with the pluck of Kubo’s strings to delight and amaze the eye. And, make no mistake, Kubo is a delight to the eye. The
stunning dazzling stop motion work of LAIKA is absolutely gorgeous and so tactile you want to reach out to touch Monkey’s flippy fur. The water scenes are particularly striking and magical setting the tone for the entire film.
Really, really short review: If you must blink, do it now. Quite true because you won’t want to miss a moment. Beautiful and worthy of an Oscar.