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Gotta See Kubo
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Image: Screenrant.com
You probably have plenty to do with your time. Polish your roller skates. Wolf down Cracker Jacks. Invest in soybean futures… you know, fun stuff. 
 
If you invested some of your time in the usual the blockbuster super-mega-hit summertime movies out there, it’s a safe bet that you wish you’d invested more wisely. Pow, smack, crash, rumble-rumble, why am I watching this movie… it’s the saaaaaaammmmme thiiiiinggggg… 
 
Here’s the fix: invest your couple of entertainment-watching hours in something wonderfully worthwhile.
Go see Kubo and Two Strings
 
Oh, there’s drama, and action, and some pretty neat samurai fight scenes – enough action to make it feel like a summertime blockbuster. There are some deaths – whoa, in a comedy? 
 
Kubo is a drama, there’s no mistaking that, but the characters are hilarious. Kubo is a young boy with only one eye – his grandfather stole the other one. His mother protects him so that grandpa won’t get the remaining orb. Told you it was a drama.  
 
Befriended by a real live monkey that used to be a toy, and a giant cockroach that used to be a samurai warrior, he sets out to find the spirit of his father, murdered before the film’s start.  
 
I know, I know, it sounds weird. Believe me, it is weird. But the writing is crisp and funny, pointed and startlingly insightful. The bad guys – it is a drama after all – are given enough time to tell their story, but no more than that. The focus here is on Kubo’s growth as he travels through the physical world, seeking the spirit world. 
 
If I told you much more than that I would be guilty of spoiling this delightful film, so I’ll tell you what makes it so delightful. 
 
In a world of computer-generated animation (CGA), it’s easy to get jaded by the images in a film. We thought Zootopia was fantastic, until we took the story apart and realized it's really just a rehashed detective story from the 1950’s, surrounded by incredible CGA. Even The Force Awakens, if stripped of its CGA, would look an awful lot like Star Wars (which, by the way, was mostly stop-motion). 
 
Again, Kubo, and the folks at Laika, the studio that produced it, come to the rescue. This thing looks CGA in lots of places, but isn’t. It’s stop-motion. It’s stop-motion on a grand, elegant scale. The closing credits feature a brief shot of one of the armatures working in the studio – man, those are some big-sized miniatures! 
 
The film is visually stunning. The acting is superb. The plot is breezy and breathtaking.  Best of all, the story and these wonderful characters stay with you. Yes, Horatio, this film makes you think. And what wonderful thoughts they are.
 
What’s not to love about this movie?  
 
This is a place you can invest your entertainment hours and feel good about doing it. 
 
I won’t lie to you. I’m trying to sell my book – maybe not to you, but to everyone you know… that’d be a bummer, wouldn’t it? You, walking around, the only person you know that hasn’t read Droppington Place? We can fix that… 
 
The first 30 seconds of Kubo and the Two Strings convinced me that Laika is the company to make the major motion picture out of Droppington Place. Now, if I can just get them to read it… 
 
While I’m working on that, do yourself a favor and watch Kubo and the Two Strings. You’ll be so glad you did!  

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