A movie review? Kubo and the Two Strings

source: Kubo and the Two Strings wikipedia
  • The art and the stop motion, in general, is amazing.
  • Plot-wise it makes sense and I honestly do like the story it tells.
  • It was pretty easy to figure out the plot twist concerning the parents (being an English major, you soon learn to notice the little hints a bit more easily.)
  • But I felt conflicted because the movie was made by white people from the voice actors (the few Asian voice actors voiced secondary characters) to the director and the writers. So it’s technically not a Japanese or an Asian-made film but more a film made by white people telling a story within a Japanese culture (kind of like Big Hero 6).
  • It’s clear in some parts that the movie was made by white people. One example would be when Kubo was slurping the whale soup and the monkey was disgusted by it. Traditionally, slurping is good in Japan because that meant that the person eating/drinking the food really likes it. In other words, slurping is a compliment in Japanese culture. Another example would be the pointing two fingers at your eyes and then pointing it at someone else to indicate suspicion feels more like an American thing than a Japanese thing.
  • It’s great that there is a movie about Japanese culture that clearly had its research done and it doesn’t feel offensive either. However, it feels like those kind of movies and any other movies that have Asians in it could only make it to the big screen if white people worked on it. If Asian people worked on it, it would have been much harder for it to be shown in America and have as much advertising done for it as it did then.
  • Yes, representation matters on screen and it will help many Asians learn that they’re more than a stereotype like a warrior, a sex object, or a nerd. However, representation also matters behind the screen. It lets us know that we also have a voice to tell our story that’s true to us.
And now the weather:
~ Stacy N.


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