Kubo and the Two Strings
Beautiful. What more is there to say? Kubo and the Two Strings. Beautiful. I know I probably have to and will write a lot more in trying to describe Kubo but, I’m not going to do it justice I feel. That word, that one word, is the best description I can find that gives it credit. From the the opening minutes, this amazing creation starts with a great distinctive stop-motion look, a tirelessly crafted, deeply emotive, look, that it’s a great shame that after a while you have to get used to it and accept it or you wouldn’t try and follow the plot, but it’s magical. Kubo’s mother from the start is a character with such great physical sorrow and poetic beauty that immediately you are worried and care, this is so special, this doesn’t happen with live action, at least for me, no person can portray the hurt and desire as well as this puppet did. Maybe I should move into a real normal review, but it’s hard, I’ll move onto the plot.
This is a children’s film at it’s basis, I’ve read a review or two saying that it’s as good as an adult film in kids film clothing, but I don’t think that’s true, it’s just an amazing kids film. It is dark, the antagonists are dark, they are scary, they are the stuff of nightmares, but as they should be. As they used to be in kids films. That doesn’t happen as much anymore and it’s such a shame and it works so well here, especially because it’s a children’s story. Children’s stories are essentially pure, it’s obvious good against obvious evil, it’s about lessons, it’s about growth and honour and learning right from wrong and this film does all that and more. It’s a film about family and sacrifice, about remembering those we’ve lost and forgetting and forgiving people’s past and, rather simply, love. There are plot twists that perhaps you’ll see a mile away, but you won’t care, or I didn’t anyway. It’s obviously heavily influenced by Japanese storytelling traditions,and this is perhaps why it reminds me of Star Wars (not the space stuff obvs – duh) but the story of sacrifice and family and blah blah, you know, the stuff I said before. Both of these stories are childrens films that have taken on meaning for adults too, not because they’re some how more grown up and more nuanced, but just because they’re really bloody good. Please go and see it. This sort of thing should be encouraged. More of this sort of thing. Loads of it.
Oh and they must’ve paid heavily for the song that plays over the (gorgeously animated) credits, but it was worth every penny.