…set in ancient Japan… The movie’s blatant Buddhism…
The movie takes place in ancient Japan. So, is it surprising that characters in the movie have a worldview that is not Christian? Would you be surprised if, for example, a movie set in India featured characters who were Hindu?
This may sound attractive in a fantasy world…
To briefly talk about my own experience with fantasy stories: I loved pretending to use the Force, but I never believed that the Force was real. I loved Avatar: The Last Airbender. But I didn’t believe that Bending the elements was a thing I could do, or that a person called “The Avatar” really existed. Why? Because the worlds of Star Wars and Avatar: The Last Airbender are fantasy worlds. They’re not real, and I never once did believe they were real, because my parents taught me how to separate reality from fantasy.
I see Kubo and the Two Strings as a good opportunity to introduce kids to worldviews that aren’t their own so that kids will learn discernment and, thus, learn what is worth appreciating in other worldviews and what is worth ignoring.
The Bible says “Test everything and hold fast to what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) How is a kid supposed to “Test everything” if they aren’t exposed to everything — if they aren’t shown worldviews that aren’t Christian?
On a side note:
If I ever have kids, I will gladly show them My Neighbor Totoro (1988). The movie’s worldview isn’t Christian, but there is a lot for a Christian to appreciate.
And a Christian family who “tests everything” in Kubo and the Two Strings could feel the same way about that movie.