Kubo and the Two Strings ~ Japanese Culture #KuboMovie

by Heather

Kubo Collage

LAIKA and Focus Features highly anticipated stop-animation film, Kubo and the Two Strings, will be hitting theaters on August 19, 2016. Last month, I was given the opportunity to attend the Kubo and the Two Strings Press Junket at the beautiful Four Seasons Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California.

If you’ve been following my adventures then you know that I love traveling, attending press junkets, and attending advanced screenings of movies. What you may not know is that I’m also a huge fan of the extra tidbits that come along with these amazing trips. Sometimes we are able to see props from the film, see early drawings or go behind the scenes, and often there is green screen fun. The Kubo and the Two Strings Press Junket didn’t disappoint but it was different from any other junket that I had ever attended.

The Kubo and the Two Strings Press Junket was filled with traditional Japanese Culture that was able to bring the film to life. Today, I am excited to share with you some of the fun and culture from the day!

~ Origami ~

Origami plays a key role in Kubo and the Two Strings. For Mother’s Day, I received a beautiful origami rose bouquet that was created by a brilliant origami artist, Ben. The bouquet contained over 500 folds and took over 3 hours to make.

I was thrilled and honored to meet Ben in person at the Press Junket. He had some of his amazing work on display. I asked him, out of all of his pieces, which one took the longest to make. He pointed to the dragon and explained that it took him 15 hours to make. I couldn’t imagine being that patient talented. His work is nothing short of incredible.



~ Japanese Candy Art: Amezaiku ~

Shin {Shinobu Ichiyanagi} was there demonstrating Amezaiku, Japanese candy craft artistry. He has been working his magic for 40 years and is able to create a candy piece in as little as three minutes. I was able to take a beautiful dragon home to my little girl!



There was a third artist there making larger origami pieces. He was in the middle of an interview so I didn’t want to interrupt and I didn’t want to be rude and take pictures so unfortunately, I was not able to speak with him. That being said, his work was beautiful and I certainly want to acknowledge his presence.

~ The Green Screen ~

There was also a fun green screen shot. This is where they place us into a picture or in this case, sub us into part of the film. The director of my adventure told me to appear confident but scared. I have no idea if I pulled off the look but I did my best. I’ll wait for my callback, I’m sure someone will want to cast me in their next hit!

File Jul 14, 17 30 20CROP

Don’t I look intimidating?

~ The Stars ~

I was really excited because LAIKA and Focus Features brought in special guests … the stars of the movie! I was thrilled to be able to take pictures with Kubo, Monkey, and Beetle.


Sitting down with Director Travis Knight and the stars of the film, Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, and Matthew McConaughey was a thrill. I fangirled, enjoyed the story, and loved what interviewing them added to the experience. The bonuses of the Kubo Movie Press Junket added to the magic of the movie, the history behind the story, and my appreciation for everyone involved.

Kubo and the Two Strings is a MUST SEE for the entire family.

Before you go … be sure to check out my interviews with


AUGUST 19, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Akihiro (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.

Director: Travis Knight

Writers: Marc Haimes and Chris Butler (“ParaNorman”)

Voice Cast: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, and Matthew McConaughey





I was sent on an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the Kubo and the Two Strings Press Junket. Regardless, all opinions expressed are my own. Please note, this post may contain affiliate links.

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Linda Manns Linneman August 19, 2016 - 7:44 am
I really enjoyed this article. We are so excited to see this new movie. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Olivine Eyes August 19, 2016 - 2:24 pm
I love Japanese culture, especially manga & anime.
Dotty J Boucher August 20, 2016 - 2:51 pm
This looks like it going to be a hit with the children and adults alike, I am simply amazed on those pieces origami's , just amazing , and that other gentleman , wow!! talk about being amazed, I would have begged for one loll :)

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