"A Dangerous Intro to Buddhism and Atheist Thinking"
What You Need To Know:
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS takes stop-motion animation to new heights in this exciting adventure, but sadly makes some serious missteps. The movie’s frightening and dark moments are enough to warrant caution for children. Even worse, however, is the movie’s blatant Buddhism as well as a secondary message against eternal life. Thankfully, KUBO has some moral, redemptive elements, but media-wise families should avoid the movie’s false Non-Christian worldview and messages.
(PaPaPa, FRFRFR, AbAb, BB, C, OO, VV, D, M) Very strong pagan worldview supporting fale religious notions with prayers toward ancestors, a message that pain and suffering should be embraced because life on earth is as good as it gets, discussions of spirits and implied reincarnation, strong Anti-Christian sentiments equating “perfection” with “coldness,” and a message against anything being infinite, but with strong moral, slightly redemptive messages of forgiving your enemies, showing compassion, and the importance of fathers and mothers, plus some occult content involving magic; no foul language; moderate animated violence with sword magical fighting, a monkey is stabbed by a knife, scary characters including two evil twins that float and a giant skeleton, a whole town is destroyed, and sword fighting; no sexual content; no nudity; no alcohol; a woman smokes a pipe; and, some disrespectful talking by child.
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS is a stop-motion fantasy adventure set in ancient Japan about a young boy with a special gift.
Kubo is a young imaginative boy with only one eye who takes care of his mother in the cave where they live. His mother, who injured her head when he was a baby, is very sickly and has a poor memory. During the day, Kubo goes into the village, and uses his magical guitar to entertain the villagers by creating origami figures and telling them epic stories of adventure his mother tells him. Kubo is told, however, he can’t go into the moonlight at night because his grandfather, the Moon King, and his mother’s sisters want to steal Kubo’s eye and take him away.
One day while trying to communicate to his father’s dead spirit, the sun goes down while Kubo’s still outside. Almost immediately, a dark cloud comes toward him and two floating sisters with chains and weapons appear. Before the sisters grab Kubo, his mother arrives and fights them off with her magic.
Kubo wakes up in a snowy landscape to a monkey telling him to wake up fast because the sisters will catch up to them. Puzzled by the monkey now protecting him, Kubo begrudgingly goes along with Monkey, but doesn’t take her seriously. Monkey and Kubo set out to collect a magical sword, breastplate and helmet that will give him the power to defeat the Moon King. Along the way, they meet a beetle-man, who was once a samurai but was cursed and had his memory stolen from him. All Beetle remembers is he once served Kubo’s father, so he swears his allegiance to Kubo’s mission to retrieve the armor.
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS takes stop-motion animation to new heights in this exciting adventure, but sadly makes some serious missteps. Despite the odd voice casting choices of Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron for Japanese characters, the movie is engaging throughout and has several touching moments as well. Best of all is the movie’s recurring theme of compassion and forgiveness, even for your enemy, and the importance of mothers and fathers in a child’s life. In addition to the vivacious music and a plethora of effective jokes, Laika Studios understands effective storytelling.
That said, for how entertaining KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS is, the major moral misstep it takes spoils the story. The movie’s frightening and dark moments are enough to warrant caution for children, but even more so is the movie’s blatant Buddhism. Characters are taught to pray to ancestors and are told that your souls simply shift from place to place. Worse, the villainous immortal Moon King wants to make Kubo like him, an infinite and powerful being that feels no pain and suffering. Kubo rejects the Moon King and embellishes the false notion that the universe’s most powerful forces are memories of loved ones, and that pain and suffering makes humanity what it is. This may sound attractive in a fantasy world, but people who live in reality, and especially those people who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, know that each person was made for much more than this. In fact, pain and suffering are a result of our sin against God, but through His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, are each of us given new life, and when we do die, will live with Him for eternity.
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS is a dramatic and entertaining movie, which makes the messages that much more dangerous for children. Thankfully, it’s not without some redemptive elements, but with its New Age, Non-Christian worldview and messages, media-wise parents should steer their children away from KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS .