Following our passion is never easy. There are many, many obstacles in the middle of our path. But, giving up is not the option. Our only choice is to go head, if we can. How if we did not know what exactly our passion is? Simple, you should search a little longer. It may be harder but all of the sacrifices will be paid off. It is similar with Kubo in Kubo and the Two String story. Kubo, one-eyed little boy in ancient Japan, lives with his ill mother and everything he does is only playing Origami. It looks easy and cheesy but it will reveal the true destiny of him.
The story starts with Sariatu who escapes from his father and her sisters. she was in her small boat for years with no sufficient food. What she had is just Shamisen (a kind of three-stringed, Japanese musical instrument) and Kubo, her only son. She finally ended up in a small but peace island. Kubo then grows up to be such a good and funny boy, but his mother turn stressed and depressed. She never said anything in after after sunrise and before sunset, but when the night comes she always tell Kubo how heroic his father, (the name is Hanzo) was. So, during the day, Kubo goes to village and tells heroic stories from his father Hanzo to the local villagers. He does it by magically manipulating origami that moves under music played from his shamisen. He did it over and over but he never complains his life. Everything is gone after his mother’s sisters and his grandfather, the Moon King, will come to take his remaining eye. They terrorize the village during Obon festival, which is a ceremony where family members communicate with deceased loved ones. His mother arrives to fend off her Sisters and sends Kubo away using her last magic, telling him to find his father’s magic armor.
Kubo wakes up in the pole and meets Monkey, a little wooden snow monkey that was brought to life by his mother’s magic. The next morning, Kubo create “Little Hanzo”from his origami to point out his father’s magic armor. Then it makes them meet Beetle, an amnesiac samurai who was cursed to be a beetle-like man. He claims himself as Hanzo’s apprentice. After knowing that Kubo is Hanzo’s son, he decides to go with Kubo and Monkey. The journey turns hard when they have to deal with “Hall of Bones”, “Garden of Eyes” and his father fortress. They go there and claims the sword, armor but not the helmet. In the fortress, Kubo, Beetle and Monkey were trapped by his mother’s sister. She tells the truth that Beetle and Monkey are his parents and she would take them away once again. Monkey and Beetle are killed but Kubo has to finish his destiny. He flies back to his village, take the last item and fight the Moon King. At first, Kubo is beaten up but he shed his armor and re-strings his shamisen, using his mother’s hair, his father’s bowstring, and a strand of his own hair. Those creates the powerful magic to wake up the spirits of the deceased villagers. Kubo just want to tell his grandfather that memories are the strongest magic of all.
Let me start from the bad side. There is no such a perfect film and so is Kubo and the Two String. There is some plot holes in this film. I mean like the time period is not consistent. Kubo was strike by his mother’s sister during the Obon. But after Kubo comes back days after, the situation is just the same with the day he left. How can it be? For kids, it is not a big deal but for the older audience, it is little bit disturbing. However, the overall story is compelling. The journey is incredible and the characterization, especially Kubo, is great. For me, it is the film every children should watch at least once. Also, Kubo shows us that stop-motion animation still has a lot to offer the modern movie audience.
Producers : Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner
Directors : Travis Knight
Writers : Marc Haimes, Chris Butler
Starring : Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Matthew McConaughey