Kubo and The Two Strings

I don’t often review movies here but I had a pretty strong reaction to this movie I saw on Sunday and had to share what I thought.

What The Movie Is About

Kubo is an eleven year old boy. At the beginning of the movie, we see his mother risking her life on a small boat in a terrible storm trying desperately to save them both. That’s because Kubo’s grandfather is the Moon King, trying to take Kubo’s eyes, so he can live in darkness and reign over that world. The grandfather has already taken one eye and won’t rest until he takes the other.

Also, Kubo’s father, Hanzo, is dead – we presume, from fighting Moon King.

Kubo’s mom hides them in a cave atop some rocks. She rarely speaks or does anything else – her spirit is too broken. Kubo even has to feed her. During the day, Kubo treks to the village, telling magical stories with origami figures to make money but he must get back home before dark lest the moon king attacks him. But you know he’s going to be out in the dark, right? Because without it, there’ll be no movie.

The drama happens when he tries to summon his dead father’s spirit and instead calls on his evil aunts.

What I thought about it

There was definite entertainment value. Kubo’s music sounds like it would make a great soundtrack. The animation had a very Japanese anime feel, like I wasn’t just Disney TV cartoons but instead, a quite theatrical production. I liked that Kubo was very patient with his mother, that he was very respectful to his elders, and that he did what he had to without complaining. That’s a lesson I think kids should learn.

But some of the themes weren’t what I think are appropriate for children:

  • Kubo lost every single person in his life before the movie was over – some of them multiple times.
  • There were comparisons between the evil grandfather, Moon King, and God – both lives up in the sky, both offering immortality, both requiring something from you.
  • The fact that for Kubo to live, he had to annihilate his grandfather and evil aunts. I just couldn’t understand why there wasn’t another way. I understand, not everyone sees life the way I do. I don’t expect movies to align with my philosophical and religious beliefs. But I think that this was a little heavy for the kids the movie is marketed to.
  • But the main issue I had with the movie? It was misnamed: Kubo and The TWO Strings when it turns out Kubo needed THREE strings to do what he needed to do. Talk about misleading title.

Overall, the movie did its job to keep the kids entertained. I know kids don’t see the same themes I do as an adult, and the things that bothered me, they probably didn’t even notice. But it wasn’t a movie I would recommend to parents after seeing it.

Rating: 3 stars


Kubo and The Two Strings

The movie opened last weekend. Have you seen it? Will you?

Books I’ve Been Waiting To Read

This week, Broke and Bookish asked the question: What books have been on your TBR {To Be Read} since before you started blogging?

I’ve had this little blog for about 3 years now so what are some books that I’ve been wanting to read for at least that time? Hmmm. Lots of classics. Lots of important books, at least in my mind.

  1. Don Quixote/ Miguel Cervantes I finally started reading this book over the weekend but it’s a daunting page number. I’m reading it on my Kindle app so I can read a page or two between activities or events. I hope to be done in a few weeks (maybe).Don Quijote de la Mancha
  2. Crime and Punishment/ Fyodor Dostoevsky To date, I’ve only read one Dostoevsky novel – The Idiot – back during a summer vacation in college. I planned to read more of his writings and haven’t gotten to it yet.Dostoevsky Crime And Punishment
  3. Anna Karenina/ Leo Tolstoy I’ve owned this book for about 5 years and still haven’t cracked the spine. Same reason as above. I need to get on it and finally get this one off my TBR list.Anna Karenina
  4. Angela’s Ashes/ Frank McCourt About 6 years ago, I listened to the Teacher Man audiobook read by Mr. McCourt in his strong Irish accent and I’ve been wanting to read this Pullitzer Prize-winning book of his ever since then.Angelas Ashes by Frank McCourt
  5. Beloved/ Toni Morrison I am a little embarrassed that I’ve never read this. I finally bought a copy last week so I will be reading it soon. I hope.Beloved
  6. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn/ Betty Smith This is considered a Book of the Century. It’s the book everyone’s read except me, or so it seems. I should fix that.A-Tree-Grows-In-Brooklyn
  7. Atlas Shrugged/ Ayn Rand When I was in college, I thought about applying for a scholarship that was awarded based on essay responses to this book. Since then, I’ve been planning to read it but it’s a whopping 1168 pages. I just haven’t been able to muster up the courage to start.Atlas Shrugged
  8. The Autobiography of Malcolm X/ Alex Haley No. I’ve never read this. I don’t know why. It’s been a part of my dad’s library from before I learned to read. I chose to read Haley’s Roots instead, which changed my perspective on life, but I still haven’t gotten to Malcolm X yet.Autobiography of Malcolm X
  9. A Tale of Two Cities/ Charles Dickens This is another book that lived on my parents’ bookshelves during my childhood that I just didn’t get to. I bought my own copy about six years ago in my classics-buying phase but still haven’t gotten around to it. Tale of Two Cities
  10. The Odyssey/ Homer A brand new (secondhand) copy of this book sits on my bookshelf. Every so often, I take it out, look at it, and say to myself, “Self, you should read this soon.”  Then I dust it off and put it back on the shelf. One of these days, I will. The Odyssey


That’s just 10 of the books I know I should read soon and have been saying that for years.

A few months ago, I ran across the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge that also has a lot of books that I want to read over the next few years. You might be interested in taking the challenge yourself.

Or try this list of 100 books everyone should read. How many of them have you read?

What are the books you have been planning to get to for a long time but haven’t yet? 

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