Movie Review: Kubo and the Two Strings *Spoilers Alert*

Chronicles of Japan: The Monkey, the Storyteller, and the Warrior

If you must blink, do it now.

Okay, I had to use it. If you’ve watched this latest creation by Laika (the same studio behind the previous longest stop motion animation film, Coraline), you would know what I mean. If you haven’t, what are you doing with your life? Just kidding. But this movie’s a gem. I’m a little sore that we Filipinos got it so late.

Anyway, Kubo and the Two Strings is about a young boy able to bring his stories to life just with colorful pieces of paper and his shamisen (Japanese string instrument). Unfortunately, he struggles to finish his story because he is also at a lost to who he really is. Everything changes when he ignores his mother’s warning to hide during the night and he is chased by masked women. Before they can get to him, though, his mother comes to his rescue effectively ending her life to save his. The next day, he awakens face-to-face with a monkey who tells him that his only hope is to find his father’s armor.

The action sequences were amazing especially when you consider that this is stop motion animation. I read that the boat sequence took several months to shoot. These people aren’t just in this to make money. You can tell how passionate they are with how they handled this project.

Story-wise, some people might be disappointed with the ‘cheesy’ ending. However, if you think about it, the reason Kubo’s grandfather (the Moon King) feared his father, Hanzo, is because he believed that he would become too powerful if he found all the pieces of the legendary armor – Sword Unbreakable, Breastplate Impenetrable, and Helmet Invulnerable. But our young protagonist proves in his face-off with the Moon King that you don’t need such weapons to prevail. It kind of reminds me of David when he squared against Goliath.

What really got me, though, is his father and mother’s love story. His grandfather supposedly ordered his children (Sariatu, Kubo’s mother, and his aunts, the masked women) to hunt Hanzo. Sariatu got to him first and they battled until his father paused mid-fight and said to his mother, ‘You are my quest.’ We could accomplish great things and go on noble adventures around the world but the memories that really stick with us are the ones with the people we love. These are the stories that get shared over and over again.

I want to apologize for taking this long to blog again. I have no excuses and I will just have to find a way to write more often. Thank you for your continued patronage of this part of the world wide web. Here are some of the things you can look forward to in the coming days:

TV Series Review: Luke Cage
Movie Review: Doctor Strange
Movie Review: Sing Street
Movie Throwback Review: Almost Famous
Movie Throwback Review: Begin Again

By the way, I’d like to give a special shoutout to Robinson’s Movie World for the exclusive screening of Kubo and the Two Strings.



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