Before you read this analysis, I suggest that you should GO AND WATCH IT FIRST! It might be just an ordinary stop-motion film to some but in my opinion, this film is so important, so memorable, so inspiring that I want to recommend it to everyone I know.
“If you must blink, do it now.
Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear,
no matter how unusual it may seem.
And please be warned: If you fidget, if you look away,
if you forget any part of what I tell you
– even for an instant – then our hero will surely perish. “
‘Kubo and the two strings’ tells a story of one boy who lives alone with his ill mother on a peaceful and small island. He makes a living by playing music and telling stories at the market. His delusional mother is always afraid of the night and tells Kubo about his evil grandfather and aunts. One day Kubo got discovered by his aunts and his mother has to sacrifice herself with her magic to send him far away.
Kubo realizes that the tale his mother told is true all along -that his family is trying to take is eye and take him with them. To stop his grandfather and aunts, Kubo goes on a quest to find the magical armor made of a sword unbreakable, a breastplate impenetrable and a helmet invulnerable.
The world of the mortals
In the film, Kubo’s grandfather and aunts are claimed to be immortal. They are trying to make Kubo join them by taking away his eyes. Isn’t this weird though? Why does taking away the eyes have anything to do with being immortal?
That’s when I get it. They are not trying to take away the eyes, in particular, they are trying to make Kubo indifferent to his surrounding. They want him to be just like them -not caring about anything. His mother has described their immortality as being cold and has no feeling towards anything
“I know why you want my eye.
Because without it, I can’t look into another and see their soul.”
That’s when it hit me. That is what mortality means -to know how to feel and care. That are the special traits of being alive. We are alive because we can feel, we care about our surroundings and we know how to love. The variety of feelings that we all can feel is the proof that we are mortal.
Different way to grief
There are some people that suspect that all the adventure in this film is Kubo’s imagination to help him cope with his mother’s death. His grandfather is trying to help him by making him indifferent to the fact. The Moon King is trying to make him forget everything. But that is not the case for Kubo.
Everyone has different ways to grief. The Moon King might find it effective to just forget everything but Kubo knows that he has to let go of his dead parents in his own way.
Memory is powerful
This is a small point that I want to point out. In the film, the Moon King is trying to make Kubo just like him -inhumane. He hopes that by taking everything away from Kubo, he would join his side. But that fails. Even without anyone besides him, he’s still strong.
What the Moon King doesn’t know is that even if Kubo has no one left, everyone he loves is still with him -in his memory. There are all kinds of memory in one’s life.
“No… it’s in the memories. The most powerful kind of magic there is.
It makes us stronger than you’ll ever be.
These are the memories of those we’ve have loved and lost.
And if we hold their stories, deep in our hearts…
then you will never take them away from us.”
If you only remind yourself of the painful memories, you could suffer. But if you choose to hold on to beautiful memories, they can become your strength.
The choice is yours…choose wisely.