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Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Poster

Trivia for Kubo and the Two Strings

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  • The fourth film created by Laika studios.
  • Directorial debut of Laika president/CEO Travis Knight, who also co-produced the film.
  • Matthew McConaughey's first animated film.
  • The second Laika movie to star a Game of Thrones (2011) actor in the lead role. In The Boxtrolls (2014), Eggs is voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) and Kubo is voiced by Art Parkinson (Rickon Stark). Coincidentially, they play brothers in the show.
  • At 1 hour and 41 minutes long, this is the longest stop-motion film to date, beating out Coraline (2009) by a minute, which was also from Laika Studios.
  • The boat sequence took nineteen months to shoot.
  • Kubo had over 48 million possible facial expressions and a total of 23,187 prototype faces were created for him.
  • The Skeleton Demon (based on the Gashadokuro of Japanese folklore) is the largest stop-motion puppet to be built, standing at sixteen feet tall.
  • The dance done at the festival in the beginning of the film is called "Tanko Bushi" and is done at Obon Festivals.
  • Storyboard artist Vera Brosgol's last film for Laika studios.
  • The word "story," and any variations of it (i.e. stories, storyteller) is spoken thirty-one times in the film, thirteen of which are in the last fifteen minutes of the film.
  • The film's end credits song is Regina Spektor's cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by The Beatles. One of the film's supporting characters is named "Beetle "
  • In some English language markets, the narration for the commercials only ever states the name of the film as "Kubo," and never once reads out "and the Two Strings."
  • Concept artist Ean McNamara's last film for Laika studios.
  • The movie consists of at least 145,000 photographs turned into a stop-motion animation film.
  • Charlize Theron's second animated film. The first one was Astro Boy (2009).
  • Like Laika's earlier film Coraline (2009), "Kubo" features the theme of eyes being stolen and replaced.
  • This was the lowest grossing film to be released by Laika, and it is the first Laika film not to make over $100 million. The film only made $73 million.
  • The animation's cast includes two Oscar winners: Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey; and three Oscar nominees: Rooney Mara, Brenda Vaccaro, and Ralph Fiennes.
  • The movie was released the same week as the Obon Festival, a Japanese custom that features prominently in the film.
  • Kubo's three-stringed instrument is a shamisen, a traditional Japanese musical device.
  • At the beginning of the film during the festival, Kameyo asks Kubo to work a giant, fire-breathing chicken into his story, which he does so. This creature is actually a real yokai in Japanese mythology called a "Basan."
  • The director's commentary claims the film is also a homage to Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki (both were inspirations for this film), and The Beatles (as captured by the end-credits song) for personal musical memories of his family.
  • During the beginning festival, Hanzo slices off the Fire Breathing Chicken's head. George Takei, voicing an elderly man, exclaims his signature catchphrase, "Oh my!" upon witnessing this.
  • The call of the golden heron used in the movie is the call of a common loon.
  • A one point during Kubo's journey, a flock of cranes flies over Monkey's head. Their cries sound more like those of a loon than a crane.
  • In every Laika movie so far, there is a special clip in the credits related to the stop motion animation. In Coraline, it was the rigging for the mice that come out of the door. In Paranorman, it was the animators making Norman's doll, and it getting up and walking around. In The Boxtrolls, it was the henchman breaking the fourth wall, and a slow zoom revealing them being animated. And finally, in Kubo and the Two Strings, it was the giant skeleton being rigged.
  • It is possible that Beetle is meant to be from Osaka, due to his western American accent. English language dubs for anime titles like Azumanga Daioh (2002) and Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (2002) have people from Osaka speak as if they're from the American west.

Spoilers

  • Monkey has the same scar under her eye as Kubo's mother Sariatu, hinting at her true identity. However, unlike Sariatu, the scar is under the right eye and not the left.
  • The two strings of the film's title is a theme of duality held throughout the film: The role of the mother and the father figure. Two villainous sisters. Night and day (the sun and the moon reflected in the Moon King and the sun emblem on Kubo's helmet), and ultimately, the "two strings" can be seen to represent the two ways: life and death, which are significant to this story.
  • The Moon King in his monster form always moves with him turning and spinning. Sometimes, he looks like a moon when doing so.
  • Kubo's mother's first and final lines are, "Kubo."
  • When Kubo, Monkey, and Beetle arrive at Hanzo's Fortress, Kubo sees the sliding doors to his father's study. The doors are decorated with a painting of Kubo's mother and father holding him. The division between the doors puts the painted Kubo on one side and his parents on the other, and as they open, he separates from them. This subtly signifies that Kubo will lose his parents in the scene, and be on his own once more.
  • During the final conflict with his grandfather, Kubo re-strings his shamisen with his father's bowstring, a hair from his mother, and a hair of his own. In this moment, both literally and symbolically, he and his parents are the three strings of his instrument: Kubo and the (Other) Two Strings.
  • Hanzo's true identity is hinted at many times in the film. In the beginning Kubo's mother tells him that he and his father are very much alike. When Monkey tells Kubo and Beetle not to touch anything at the entrance to the Hall of Bones they both do so regardless and they both play with their food on Long Lake. Also, Beetle's interest in origami Hanzo makes sense in that Hanzo's memories would want to be reunited with his body.
  • The theme of memories and how precious they are is a prominent one in the film. Both Kubo's parents lose and regain their memories and even Kubo's grandfather, the Moon King, is reduced to having lost his memories, only to be given new ones in order to reshape him as a kind person.
  • The reason why Kubo is unable to commune with his father during the lantern ceremony is because, in fact, Hanzo is still alive. Only at the end of the film is he able to see his then deceased parents.
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