Kubo and the Two Strings is a 2016 animation movie. It was produced with the stop motion technique by Travis Knight for Laika. In this story, the young Kubo had his adventure between myth and legend, magic, music and the art of folded paper.


From the acclaimed animation studio, LAIKA (Coraline) comes an epic original action-adventure featuring the voice talents of Academy Award winners Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey. Kubo mesmerizes the people in his village with his magical gift for spinning wild tales with origami. When he accidentally summons an evil spirit seeking vengeance, Kubo is forced to go on a quest to solve the mystery of his fallen samurai father and his mystical weaponry, as well as discover his magical powers. Kubo and the Two Strings is “a wildly imaginative, magical adventure.” – Scott Mantz, Access Hollywood

Ancient Fable with a modern interpretation.

All movie runs like a legend that doesn’t come from an existing one, but it gets inspiration from different myths in Japanese culture.

All the movie is like that. We can see classic outfits, kimonos and samurai armour. You can see ancient buildings, houses and temples. And so is the instrument played by Kubo: the shamisen.
The shamisen is a three-stringed instrument. An important detail as the fact in ancient tradition this instrument was played by blind storytellers. And you know, Kubo is one eye’s blind because of King Moon ripped it off when he was a baby.


kubo and the two stringhs

Original image by IMDB

We need to start our analysis with our hero: Kubo. He is the main character, a storyteller that is trapped in his own stories. Kubo is a sweet child who acts like a parent to his own mother. Even if he is so young he had to afford so many misfortune. And always he puts the others before himself. First of all his own mother, then the villagers and last his travel companions. He is smart and had a great fortitude that moves everything and everyone in the movie.

His mother is the symbol of sacrifice and mother’s love. To save Kubo, when he was a child, she gave everything, her magic, her ability her memories, turned herself in an empty body who takes life only when darkness comes and her child is back at home. She will make all sacrifice for him.

Then we can talk about Hanzo, the hero’s Kubo’s legend.

This character is inspired to a real hero of Japanese myth, the samurai Hattori Hanzo. He was a famous warlord in the Sengoku era. He symbolizes all the values of the samurai warriors.

And last, King Moon, the rival. He is a god, blind and emotionless to humanity who hold a grudge on Kubo’s family. Why? Watch the movie to know it.

Origami and the magic of folded paper

Origami is a Japanese art technique based on creating figures folding paper. You can make people, animals and building. In this movie, this art is mixed with music creating a marvellous dance of coloured papers that tell stories. Magic take life from this perfect meeting.

When Kubo tells his story people are fascinated by these fragile and strong figures. But that’s not all. These origamis are real magic, they can make every object and take form by Kubo’s will, but also by their own. So they will help our heroes in their quest.

A final consideration about movie and pills on stop-motion

This is a child movie, but it suits well for adult too, who can find different perspectives. The story is so touching, and we are sure some moment will move you to cry. Mede by stop-motion technique, this adds more depth to the movie, because it puts more evidence on the art of creating by the fact origami themself are little paper sculptures.

Colour and atmosphere are like a dream. You are living an ancient fable. This sensation is emphasized by the graphic style and the character design. They look like they jumped off an ancient picture to take life on the screen.
One of the main them is also about memories. Our past, the people we meet, the ones who are or enter in our life mould the person who we are.

The ending is amazing but I can’ spoil this. I can say this is a little masterpiece to everyone who loves dreaming and also the ones who need to learn how to make it again.


  • KeiLeela

    Classe '90. Nella vita mi occupo di codice e grafica, nel tempo libero navigo verso mondi fantastici. Fondatrice del portale Vampire's Tears, tratto di argomenti legati all'horror e al fantastico. Indago su miti e leggende e misteri esoterici.

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