I feel very much at cross purposes, having promised I would complain about something in a film that I loved.
The film is Kubo and the Two Strings.
Let me get the complaint out of the way, as it’s from the perspective of a child. I would ask you first to watch the trailer.
Now having watched it, you might be surprised to discover that this film terrified some of the children in the theatre. Yes the film is “PG” rather than “Family”, so in fact it’s correctly labeled to alert parental figures. I am not sure that the trailer accurately reflects the level of violence & suspense one experiences in this film, but naturally that’s a different question for a child than for an adult. I found the film roughly as scary as Wizard of Oz, a movie with many of the same features:
- A good witch
- A couple of bad witches who are sisters
- Supernatural forces beyond the control of the protagonist
- Scary storms
And in fact I invoke L Frank Baum’s masterpiece because this is also a wonderfully deep story, with all sorts of Freudian overtones. Aside from the one caution I offer – that you think twice about taking small children with you—it’s highly recommended.
I would strongly suggest that you avoid reading about this film – and please note I aim to be spoiler-free disliking the hints about storylines and meanings that one can encounter in reviews—in order to be fully overpowered by it. The visual effects are magnificent, but the metaphysical overtones are especially exciting if you don’t have someone tell you what they think it all means, first.
But maybe it’s just a story about storytelling & memory. Either way, you get to decide.
This theatre was full of young children, some rampaging up and down the aisles, some asking their mom to explain as they cried out in fear (this happened at least three times I could hear, from different kids). Clearly I wasn’t the only one who underestimated the film’s power. You might want to aim for the last show of the day, to hopefully find yourself in a theatre audience that can handle the film.
Me? I was having a quasi-religious experience, tearful in places, yet I felt I was being forced to watch Parsifal in a daycare centre. In other words, i was somewhat distracted.
If you’re a fan of animation, particularly animated films that appeal to adults (thinking of Inside Out or Zootopia, recent titles that transcend the family-orientation sometimes imposed on the genre) I strongly recommend that you go see Kubo and the Two Strings.