Kubo…and familial abuse

Um, yeah, there are spoilers.

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(Photo here.)

Oh, so much I wanna say about the Season 6 premiere of OUAT, however…

Took the kids to see Kubo and the Two Strings today. It’s a pretty shocking movie in its frankness about abusive families. It begins with a woman fleeing her abusive father and sisters who have just killed her husband and his entire army and taken her infant son’s eye. Yeah, it’s that violent. Usually, movies and stories with abusive family members center on step-parents and step-siblings, as if blood somehow makes people not desire to do harm to another person. Reality, aka the facts, shows that people are more likely to be murdered or raped by their own blood relatives. Kubo is pretty frank with the facts.

Throughout the film, Kubo and his mother must fight against traps set up by their family and against their family members themselves. This results in the slaying, in self-defense, of Kubo’s two evil aunts.

I was somewhat disappointed in the ending. In the end, Kubo uses his magic to transform his evil grandfather, who orchestrated and commanded the murder of Kubo’s parents, to a real human being to whom the townspeople give a positive history (because all his memories have been wiped). It’s an ending a la Return of the Jedi, and so stereotypical of Hollywood and the church that it bears mentioning that in reality, happy endings in abuse don’t happen. In reality, if your grandfather wants to abuse you or kill you, he does, and the world turns a blind eye. (No pun itended…for those who’ve seen the movie.)

When Kubo’s mother explains to him why his grandfather wants his other eye as well, she says that he wants Kubo to be like him, blind to humanity. In the final battle between Kubo and his grandfather, who sheds his human body to reveal himself as the monster he is, his grandfather’s words to him echo this. His disdain for humanity, for frailty, for love, become obvious. He hates people because they are weak. He considers himself perfect because he has none of these supposed weaknesses. He is the exact portrait of an abuser.

I’m not sure how a child from a “normal” family would react to the idea that family can kill you. If you take your kid, let me know what they thought. Sadly, mine kinda got it.

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