Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings photoIf you must drink, do so now. Because if you dare miss or forget anything I am about to write, then this post will surely perish. You must understand three essential pieces of information for this post to succeed.

The first is storytelling incomparable. It is fitting that the most compelling aspect of a movie about stories is the storytelling of the movie itself. That is exactly what Kubo and the Two Strings gives us, a masterful storytelling of a beautiful story. From the moment we hear Kubo’s voice to the moment the movie ends, we are invested in stories. And the plural is a necessity here. I can count of at least five different stories that we care about throughout the movie, the most obvious being Kubo’s. And the way his is told is remarkable. It begins with Kubo displaying his abilities as a master storyteller, mirroring what the movie would do for us with what Kubo did for the villagers. Everyone in the village instantly stopped what they were doing as soon as they heard Kubo play his first note, just as I was intently focused on the screen when I first heard Kubo’s voice. Kubo (the movie) initially kept our intrigue with awe and amusement, allowing Kubo (the character) to show off his magic. The film then keeps us invested with suspense and wonder, hinting at aspects of Kubo’s past, such as his father and grandfather. What I found to be most fun about this is that we learn alongside Kubo. Neither the audience nor Kubo knows more than the other. We are then transitioned into this quest with Kubo, Monkey, and Beetle that we can’t help but be invested in because of our previous interest in Kubo. This quest leads to two powerful emotions that are earned by the movie. The first comes from the early ending of Kubo’s parents dying. While portrayed beautifully, the tragedy is just so heartbreaking. What the three of them briefly had with their family being united was ripped from each of them yet again. This eventually leads to the final ending of the story in which Kubo uses his two strings from his parents and one from himself to change the heart and mind of his blind (in many ways) grandfather. The final ending is executed perfectly, allowing for the natural feelings of warmth and joy to be felt by the audience.

The second is character creation commendable. The best part of Kubo is the storytelling. But this is aided immensely by the characters in these stories. Each character is wonderfully unique and interesting. Kubo is a prodigy magic user with the charm and wit to keep an entire village entertained for a full day, on multiple occasions. Even after he watched his mother sacrifice herself to save Kubo, he still keeps much of his personality. My favorite parts are when Kubo uses his magic to create birds to sing and dance with the lone bird in the air and how he is reluctantly respectful of Monkey. He does what she asks, but not without quips and questions. Monkey and Beetle are great characters in and of themselves, but they become even better once we find out that they are Kubo’s parents. It allows for a depth to their characters that would not exist otherwise. The persistence and protection offered by Monkey begin to make much more sense, just as the dedication to Kubo and draw toward Monkey from Beetle are better understood. While there is no question that what Kubo’s grandfather is doing is wrong, his grandfather believes it to be right. He is not just a bad guy doing bad things because he wants to. He is a bad guy doing bad things because he has a corrupted view of the world. If nothing else, this allows Kubo’s grandfather to be more dynamic than the typical bad guy in a child’s movie. The creativity in character creation allows the story to be that much better.

The third is indomitable voice acting. Just as the story was made greater by the characters, so are the characters made better by exceptional voice acting. They were all magnificent; every single one of them. As stated previously, the last portion of this movie justifiably warrants a number of emotions from the audience. Stories alone cannot evoke these feelings. The characters must do this. In a stop-motion film, some emotion can be portrayed visibly, but it is not the same as watching a person live, or even the same as standard animated movies. Nothing is happening in real time, so to speak. In Kubo, the voice actors did a wonderful job to fill in these gaps, keeping the audience invested and allowing us to feel the emotion.

Armed with the knowledge of storytelling incomparable, character creation commendable, and indomitable voice acting, then surely our hero (the reader) will reach the desired conclusion. Kubo and the Two Strings is a beautiful story told masterfully aided by perfect character creation and extraordinary voice acting.

My name is Chuck, and these are my thoughts. Now I would like to know what you think. Did you like the different style of blog today or do you prefer a more standard writing? Did you like the movie overall? Were there certain aspects you did not enjoy? Leave a comment down below, and we’ll talk. Enjoy the day!

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