The virtual cultural tourist: Film-induced tourism and Kubo and the Two Strings


Kubo and the Two Strings
Film-induced tourism
Contents tourism
Laika Studios
Virtual cultural tourist

How to Cite

Yeo, D. “The Virtual Cultural Tourist: Film-Induced Tourism and Kubo and the Two Strings”. Mutual Images Journal, no. 10, Dec. 2021, pp. 3-20, doi:10.32926/2021.10.yeo.virtu.


Over the past two decades, there has been growing research in film-induced tourism. Much of this research is focused on how film influences tourist destination choices. There has been less emphasis, however, on the nature and types of movies that may induce this attraction to such locations. By examining Kubo and the Two Strings (Knight, 2016), a stop-motion animation produced by Laika Studios, this paper aims to apply film studies to explore current understandings of film-induced tourism. This paper argues that Kubo is itself a form of film-induced tourism by positioning the viewer as a virtual cultural tourist whose cinematic experience may be likened to a veritable media pilgrimage through Japanese culture, history and aesthetics. The movie introduces the viewer into an imagined world that borrows from origami, theatre, shamisen music, obon rituals and Japanese symbolism, philosophy and mythology. The resulting pastiche is a constructed diorama that is as transnational and postmodern as it is authentic and indigenous.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Dennis Yeo