[4K Ultra HD Review] ‘Kubo And The Two Strings’; Now Available From LAIKA & Shout! Factory

kubo and the two strings, 4k review, 4k, review, kubo and the two strings 4k reviewKubo And The Two Strings (Limited Edition Steelbook) [4K Ultra HD] amazon-cart-logo

Director: Travis Knight

Cast: Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara (VOICES)

Release Date: February 28, 2023

A Review By: Kevin Lovell

Disc Rating: 9.5/10


From the acclaimed animation studio LAIKA (Coraline) comes an epic original action adventure featuring the voice talents of Academy Award® winners* Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey. Kubo mesmerizes the people in his village with his magical gift for spinning wild tales with origami. When he accidentally summons an evil spirit seeking vengeance, Kubo is forced to go on a quest to solve the mystery of his fallen samurai father and his mystical weaponry, as well as discover his own magical powers. Kubo And The Two Strings is “a wildly imaginative, magical adventure” (Scott Mantz, Access Hollywood)!

*Charlize Theron: 2003: Best Actress In A Leading Role, Monster

Matthew McConaughey: 2013: Best Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role, Dallas Buyer’s Club

Please Note: Shout! Factory provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.

[4K Ultra HD Review] ‘Kubo And The Two Strings’; Now Available From LAIKA & Shout! Factory 1

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ follows a young boy named Kubo who lives in quite solace with his mother and spends his days enthralling the townsfolk with his stories that are boosted by his unique talent for controlling and bringing to life origami that assist in telling the tales, while spending his nights at home to hide from his deadly grandfather. But when he makes a mistake and accidentally alerts the forces hunting him to his whereabouts Kubo will be forced to embark on a dangerous journey to locate a collection of mythical weapons that may be his only chance at survival. Along the way he’ll meet new friends and terrifying new enemies, as well as uncover shocking realizations and realities about his family.

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The breathtaking stop-motion animation and thrilling adventure of ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ are capably guided along by director Travis Knight who does a spectacular job at the helm of this animated gem from a screenplay written by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler. The film’s stellar voice cast only helps it all to reach perfection and includes Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Art Parkinson, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro and more, with nearly all offering fully capable and fitting voice performances that help to bring the care and emotion needed to make this one work so beautifully.

The fourth stop-motion animated film from LAIKA, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ was first released in 2016 and might just be the masterpiece of this remarkable animation studio’s releases; no small accomplishment considering the three that came before (and the fact that ‘Coraline’ is one of my all-time favorite animated films). Not only does ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ offer a thrilling and emotionally powerful story with rich characters and fun creatures along with plenty of thrilling moments all wrapped in an unforgettable adventure, but it captures it all with some absolutely breathtaking stop-motion animation that is an absolute joy to behold in itself. It creates some unique and clever characters and embraces the love and struggle that can come with family, then sends those characters trekking to multiple visually impressive locations and areas using that magic LAIKA is known for in order to bring them into reality and reaching notable new visual heights in these creations like you’ve never seen before. ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is nothing short of a masterpiece and if you’ve never had the chance to check out this animated gem, then I can’t urge you strongly enough to make a point of rectifying that.

[4K Ultra HD Review] ‘Kubo And The Two Strings’; Now Available From LAIKA & Shout! Factory 3

Shout! Factory and LAIKA bring ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ home on 4K Ultra HD for the first time looking and sounding better than it ever has before (or at least surely in 2D). Featuring a spectacular new Ultra High Definition video presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10 that looks absolutely gorgeous and is only complemented perfectly by an immersive and hard hitting new Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack and a nice collection of noteworthy bonus material on the included Blu-ray disc that all comes together to make a marvelous 4K UHD debut for this animated masterpiece that any dedicated fans that are fully 4K capable will almost certainly want to try and add to their collection whenever possible. The Limited Edition 4K UHD Steelbook release which I was sent for review only makes the release that much better with its visually stellar new hand drawn artwork that offers a case worthy of the film and one that will stand out in the way best way possible. Although rest assured that ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is also available on 4K UHD in a standard case release as well for those who might prefer it over the Steelbook.

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio, from a remaster by LAIKA. The original press announcement mentions some details on the remastering and is included below:

“The scrupulous remastering process for ‘The Boxtrolls’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ was overseen by the team at LAIKA, led by LAIKA CEO (and Kubo and the Two Strings Director) Travis Knight, and Visual Effects Supervisor Steve Emerson, who pored over each film shot-by-shot, paying close attention to every last detail and color to present these groundbreaking films in the most dynamic format.”

The video presentation for the 4K UHD release of ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ looks marvelous as a whole and provides a delightfully sharp, beautifully colored and richly detailed presentation from start to finish that never reveals any unexpected faults or troubles along its course. The truly stunning stop-motion animation within is given gorgeous new life here showcasing the impeccable details and texture within on everything from sea, snow and landscapes, along with character details and faces as well as plenty more looking remarkably vibrant and clean at every turn. The Dolby Vision addition contributes a spectacular color palette with blinding bright colors that look magnificent and are only complemented by deep, crush-free blacks which are equally impressive. Overall, this is an outstanding Ultra High Definition video presentation that never disappoints and it should have fans of this animated masterpiece ecstatic.


The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a new Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is rather impressive in its own right and delivers a clean, crisp and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly utilizes all seven available channels in order to send waves crashing, rain pouring and characters zipping about along with action effects, bits of crowd chatter and plenty more regularly whipping throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, while always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might occur simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds wonderful every step of the way and should easily thrill fans and first time viewers alike.


The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ features a solid helping of extras, the majority of which can found on the release’s included Blu-ray disc. The 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs both include an ‘Audio Commentary with Director/Producer Travis Knight’ and the Blu-ray disc additionally includes ‘Inside LAIKA: Confronting the Epic Challenges of Kubo and the Two Strings’ (running approximately 13 minutes in length), along with a close-up look at multiple characters from the film in ‘Inside LAIKA: Revisiting the Puppets with LAIKA’s Animation Team’ (running approximately 2 minutes each). We are also treated to ‘Feature-Length Storyboards’ for the film (running approximately 92 minutes), in addition to the multi-part making of Featurette ‘Kubo’s Journey’ (approximately 28 minutes altogether) and a couple of Original Featurettes including ‘Corners of the Earth’ (3 minutes) and ‘The Myth of Kubo’ (2 minutes). Also included are ‘Still Galleries’ for ‘Character Art’, ‘Concept Art’ and ‘Behind the Scenes’, as well as the film’s ‘Trailer’ (1 minute).

The Limited Edition 4K UHD Steelbook release of ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ also features some absolutely beautiful original, hand drawn artwork on the front, rear and interior of the Steelbook case, as well as a full color Booklet included within that features an Essay by Charles Solomon, an Internationally respected critic and historian of animation who is the author of 20 books on the subject.

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*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray disc included in the release and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.

Disc Rating: 9.5/10

‘Kubo And The Two Strings’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD & Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook from LAIKA & Shout! Factory

You can purchase your copy of the ‘Kubo and the Two Strings 4K UHD Limited Edition Steelbook’ by clicking on the Amazon icon below, or purchase it directly from Shout Factory HERE!

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