Summer Movie Fun: Kubo and the Two Strings

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Summer may be over, but its movies will be coming out to Blu-ray and DVD soon (and possibly RLO movies, but we’ll wait and see). This series will cover all the movies you may have missed over the summer, so you can figure out which ones to see.

To wrap up our summer films, this week we’re looking at Kubo and the Two Strings, a stop-motion animated feature that was nearly two years in the making.

The movie starts with Kubo, a young, one-eyed boy who lives in a cave. Every day he goes down to a nearby village and tells stories with origami and magic to earn money. He takes care of his sickly mother with the money, and she consistently warns him not to stay out after dark. Then one day, Kubo attends a ceremony with the village, and accidentally stays out too late, throwing him into a quest for survival.

First and foremost, I have to talk about the animation. Stop-motion is a time consuming and difficult form of animation as it requires very small manipulations of actual models and a photo of each pose. Those photos then get put together to give the appearance that the figures are actually moving. Not only does the film have that difficult style, but it also uses distinct textures on its models. The film is beautiful to watch, so much so that you don’t want to miss a moment of it. Hence, at the beginning of the film, Kubo tells you, “If you must blink, do it now.”

The humor in the film was fantastic. Most comes from the interactions of Kubo and his two companions, Monkey and Beetle. Monkey has a deadpan attitude, the sort of character who would rather not deal with anyone. Beetle is more comedy from instant gratification because he doesn't think before he acts. Kubo’s humor comes from having to put up with the two. The film is full of laughs, but that doesn’t detract from the truly moving plot, which brings me to my next point.

The story's message hits an emotional core. At the heart of the film is family. Kubo struggles to take care of his mother, and his mother devotedly tries to protect him. Then he finds a second family with his companions, who worry over him and help him on his journey. While the film may not have a traditional happy ending, it keeps to the idea of love and care shared between family members. (Bring your tissues!)

If you want a beautiful-looking film with fun humor but that still has an impact, Kubo and the Two Strings is the film for you. The film is still in theaters, so go see it before you lose your chance (at least for a few months).

That concludes our summer of movie fun! We’ll see you for more film reviews in the future!

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About The Author

Just an English nerd drowning in words. English major with a Film and Media Studies minor. Aspiring to write many novels, films, television shows, and video games. Avid reviewer of movies, theatrical productions, videogames and pretty much anything you can possibly review.