*Summary: Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior.
Cast and Characters. There’s a lot of characters in the film but there are only three that really matter. Well, kind of four, but mainly three.
Charlize Theron as Monkey. First of all, I love Charlize she’s awesome, her voice is very commanding and in this particular animated role, she plays a monkey charm that was brought to life as a protector for Kubo. Her voice has a very motherly charm to it, as well as remaining firm and stubborn. Her delivery of the character’s lines helps the dialogue hit strong. Very easy to screw this character with the wrong voice actress. She is pretty badass, in every sense of the word. Monkey’s humor is dry and sarcastic which makes her a perfect foil to the Beetle character.
Art Parkinson as Kubo. I was actually watching San Andreas with him in it earlier, so I was pleased to see him doing this movie. Kubo’s character is a young boy, about 11, I think, and he is a storyteller. He has the ability to magically control paper (origami) to help his stories, which is already cool, and as the story progresses, he begins to mature and progress himself. This is very much a story of discovery for him. His design was also pretty great. The actor, is about 14, and he projects such youthful playfulness in this role, I’m glad they got someone who is right in the middle, not to young whose voice would be too high, or someone too old (or with a too mature sounding voice) because Kubo is still young but he basically takes care of himself. I think that voice would have some age to it, as well as a bit of roughness while maintaining youth. Hope that wasn’t confusing, I just think it all balanced out well. Plus, when Kubo was telling his story to the villagers, the way he would get right into character, ah it was amazing.
Matthew McConaughey as Beetle. I just want it to be known that I was legit surprised to see that he was this character because I didn’t know beforehand. I’m being nice and telling you now lol, if that matters. Beetle is where a lot of the light humor comes from and he balances out the group. With Kubo’s youth and wide eyed nature, Monkey’s motherly stubbornness, Beetle brings in a lightheartedness. His character has memory issues so the things he decides to “remember” or decide to say are delivered hilariously. The dialogue back and forth he has with Theron was done very well and they played off each other well. I wonder if they managed to record together at all.