Kubo and the Two Strings

September 12, 2016

I have to be honest, my favorite part of this may have been the first line:  “If you must blink, do it now.” It’s a storyteller’s first line — main character Kubo is a storyteller, and the line gets repeated twice more through the movie. As an attention-getting intro, it worked splendidly, and I started thinking about the idea of a one-sentence prologue.  A single line that’s sharp enough to hook a reader, that may not necessarily flow straight into the next line or even the rest of the story.  A storyteller’s summons.  “I sing of arms and the man…”  So I do appreciate any piece of art/creativity that gets me thinking about technique and purpose and art in general, and the serendipity of encountering a piece of art that starts me thinking in a new direction that may impact my own work. How these chance encounters can sometimes become so meaningful.

The film itself had a lot of visual impact. The story was a little rote, a little predictable, and a little too long — most scenes dragged just a little bit. There seemed to be an impulse to make each battle a little longer, each character interaction a little slower, to show off the animation. The overall pacing suffered, I think.  And one finds oneself asking the question of why does a Japanese story set in Japan have an all-white primary cast?

It’s a decent movie, really. I wasn’t disappointed. But I wasn’t blown away, either. Except by that first line.



4 Responses to “Kubo and the Two Strings”

  1. Thomas Stacey Says:

    Honestly the only reason why a story set in Japan has a all white primary cast is because it was made in America, which is kind of sad. That is the only thing I can come up with anyways. Specifically it was done by Focus Features, a sub company of NBCUniversal, which is a sub company of Comcast.

  2. Sarah peterson Says:

    Wanted to see kubo, but it was a date with my little girls and I was dragged to the secret life of pets instead. Lately, I’ve been on a black adder kick… Weird.

  3. Erik Reimers Says:

    I think my favorite intro in this vein is the one from Conan the Barbarian.


    When the Basil Poledouris soundtrack kicks in at the end of the narration, I get chills every time.

  4. carriev Says:

    Conan is a great movie, I see new things about it everytime I watch.

    And there are plenty of Japanese-American actors the film could have used. George Takei had a secondary part. But in some ways that made it worse because he’s so often a token Japanese American actor.

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