Jan. 17th, 2017

meganbmoore: (when princesses grow fangs)
Kubo and the Two Strings is the latest movie from Laika, the stop motion animation company behind Coraline and ParaNorman (and at least one other movie that I haven’t seen, and can’t recall the name of.

In ancient Japan, Kubo is a young boy who lives in a cave on a mountain with his mother, Sariatu. During the day, he travels down the mountain to the nearby village to play his shamisen and retell the stories his mother tells him. While he does so, origami papers fold themselves into figures and act out the stories he tells. Sariatu has always told him that he must return to the cave by nightfall so that her father, the Moon King, and her sisters will not find them, and he does so until one night, the villagers invite him to attend the Obon festival. Kubo does so, hoping to communicate with the spirit of his father, Hanzo. Hanzo does not answer his pleas, but his aunts find him, and destroy the village, causing Sariatu to lose the last of her power to send Kubo away. The rest (and bulk) of the movie is Kbo’sadventures to find Hanzo’s armor and escape his aunts. He’s joined by a talking monkey assigned to protect im by Sariatu, and an amnesiac, anthromorphic bug ho claims too be a retainer of Hanzo’s who is under a spell.

The movie is beautifully animated, and both charming and creepy, as well as being stuffed full of Japanese folklore and mythology. It appears to be at least partially inspired by the tale of Kaguya-hime, or a story like it (I want to say I’ve read a story that’s a more fitting comparison, but cant remember what it is). The only downside is that, while it had Japanese consultants and a numbr of Japanese actors in minor roles, all the major characters are voiced by white actors, and I believe the same is true of the major behind-the-scenes creators.



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