Director: Travis Knight
Writer: Marc Haimes (screenplay), Chris Butler (screenplay), Shannon Tindle (story by), Marc Haimes (story by)
Stars: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Brenda Vaccaro
Runtime: 101 min
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
Released: 19 Aug 2016
Storyline: A woman (voice of Charlize Theron) is riding in a boat through the ocean on a stormy night with her baby boy resting on her back. A huge wave rises, but the woman strums her shamisen and makes the water part to let her pass. Moments later, the wave returns and crashes down on her from behind. The woman hits her head on the rocks underwater and washes up on the shore. She crawls over to her crying child, who only has one eye.
Years later, the boy, Kubo (voice of Art Parkinson), takes care of his mother, who is very sick. They live in a cave by the edge of a cliff by a Japanese village. Kubo’s eye was taken by his grandfather when he was a baby.
Kubo heads into the village with several origami figures he created. The villagers gather around Kubo as he begins to tell a story, bringing his characters to life when he strums his shamisen. The story tells of a samurai named Hanzo who was very heroic and battled countless enemies, vanquishing all of them. Hanzo possessed three elements to a powerful armor – his sword, breastplate, and helmet. As the story draws near an end, Hanzo is set to battle his nemesis, The Moon King, but, before Kubo can finish his story, the sun starts to set and Kubo leaves, disappointing the villagers.
When Kubo returns home, his mother tells a story of his father, who happened to be Hanzo. Her father, The Moon King, and her evil sisters wanted to kill Hanzo, but the mother wouldn’t allow it, and The Moon King would later take Kubo’s eye. Later at night, Kubo’s mother talks in her sleep, causing Kubo’s papers to come to life. Kubo wakes his mother, and she asks him what happened to his eye.
Kubo joins the villagers in honoring the spirits of their loved ones with lanterns. One man, Hosato (voice of George Takei), is honoring the spirit of his mother while explaining the purpose to his own daughter. Kubo tries to honor his father and waits for him to bring him some form of guidance. When Kubo doesn’t get an immediate response, he becomes upset and crumples the paper lantern.