The Kubo and the Two Strings Story Within Contest

9 min read

Deviation Actions

GO's avatar
Og-spotlight by marioluevanosDeviantArt and Laika Studios have come together to bring you the new Kubo and the Two Strings Story Within Contest! Create an illustration showing Kubo overcoming a difficult obstacle inspired by the movie trailer or your own personal experience for a chance to win a selection of collector Kubo items and cash prizes!

Illustrate your story in Kubo’s world!

We all have difficult obstacles that we must overcome. DeviantArt and Laika Studios are challenging you to illustrate Kubo overcoming a difficult obstacle, either inspired by the movie or by your own personal experience. In Kubo and the Two Strings, Kubo uses the power of music and the support of his friends and loved ones to overcome the various challenges he faces on his journey to find his father’s lost armor. Your artwork may feature Kubo alone, or with one or more of the eccentric characters he meets on his journey.

Kubo and the Two Strings tells the story of a young boy named Kubo who goes on an epic journey to find the armor lost long ago by his father, a heroic samurai named Hanzo. Accompanied by his magical shamisen, a two-stringed instrument, and an offbeat pair of characters, Monkey and Beetle, Kubo faces a series of difficult and terrifying challenges as he learns more about himself and his family.


How To Enter

Step 1

Watch the trailer and download the asset pack to familiarize yourself with Kubo and the Two Strings.

Download Asset Pack

Step 2

Create an original piece of art illustrating Kubo overcoming an obstacle either inspired by the movie or an obstacle you’ve personally faced. You can reference but not directly copy materials from the assets. Read the Official Rules for more details.

Read Official Rules

Step 3

Submit your artwork into the contest by using the “Submit Your Entry” button below. Your entry must be in the form of a single JPG at least 2000 pixels in the shortest dimension.


1st Place Winner

  • $3,000.00 USD
  • A 1-Year Core Membership
  • A Collector's Pair of Kubo-themed Nikes
  • Kubo Blu-ray
  • Art of Kubo book

2nd Place Winner

  • $1,500.00 USD
  • A 1-Year Core Membership
  • Kubo Blu-ray
  • Kubo Mask Set
  • Art of Kubo book

3rd Place Winner

  • $1,000.00 USD
  • A 1-Year Core Membership
  • Kubo Blu-ray
  • Kubo Figurine
  • Art of Kubo book

22 Semi-Finalists

  • 3-Month Core Membership
  • Kubo Blu-ray
  • 1,000 DeviantArt Points
  • Art of Kubo book


The son of a legendary samurai and a goddess, Kubo is a scrappy, shamisen-shredding 12-year-old with magical powers he’s only beginning to understand. Kubo is a born storyteller, raising money to care for his mother by entertaining his town’s villagers with origami reenactments of his father’s past heroics. But when he seeks out the truth of his father’s past, Kubo discovers more than he bargained for, awakening the all-powerful Moon King. Now, faced with challenges beyond his wildest imagination, Kubo must embark on a quest to master his powers and become the hero he was born to be.


A protective talisman magically brought to life by Kubo’s mom, Monkey has one mission: protect Kubo at all costs. As skilled with a sword as she is with her razor-edged wit, Monkey is a no-nonsense fighter with little patience for monkeying around. But while she presents a tough exterior, it’s only to keep her emotions from getting in the way of defending the friends she would do anything for.


A skilled archer and brave warrior, Beetle once served in the army of the legendary samurai Hanzo. Or at least he thinks he did. Stricken by a horrible curse, Beetle’s memories were stripped away and his body transformed into a hard-shelled, oversized man-bug. Beetle eagerly joins Kubo on his quest after learning about the boy’s relationship to Beetle’s former master. Loyal to the core of his armor-plated thorax, Beetle’s multi-armed marksmanship makes him an enormous asset—just as long as he can remember where he is and what he’s supposed to be doing. Wait, what were we talking about again?


A devoted father, Hosato loves nothing more than spending time with his daughter and teaching her about their cultural and ancestral traditions. A model citizen if ever there was one, Hosato is well loved by his neighbors for his sharp mind and good humor. For Kubo, Hosato’s idyllic family life is a poignant reminder of everything the Moon King took away from him.


A kindly widow from Kubo’s village, Kameyo is always there to lend an ear, tell a joke, or give a bit of advice to help Kubo. From silly suggestions on how to improve his performances to recommendations on fun activities, Kameyo does her best to make sure that Kubo doesn’t grow up too fast as he works to support his mom. Old in age but young at heart, Kameyo is Kubo’s best and funniest and definitely least mature friend.


Hashi is without a doubt Kubo’s biggest fan. While trained as a fierce and serious warrior, Hashi isn’t immune to getting silly with childlike wonder whenever Kubo hits the stage for one of his performances. And even though he eagerly volunteers to participate in Kubo’s tales whenever he can, Hashi hasn’t quite worked up the courage to ask his favorite storyteller for an autograph yet.

The Sisters

The spectral twins are both the Moon King’s daughters and his most powerful warriors. Identical in voice and appearance down to their chilling Noh masks, the Sisters are in charge of hunting down their father’s enemies with ruthless efficiency. They never eat, they never sleep, and they’ll let nothing stand in the way of capturing Kubo and carrying out their father’s wishes. Don’t let their smiling masks fool you... if you ever hear their whispering voices, run.

The Moon King

The immortal Moon King is a stone-hearted god who seeks to shape the world in his image: cold, callous, and perfect.  When his favorite daughter forsook her family and fell in love with the human samurai Hanzo, the Moon King became enraged and brutally laid waste to Hanzo and his army in retribution. Now unchallenged and unmatched in raw power, the Moon King will stop at nothing to capture his grandson Kubo and bring him back into the family, thus restoring the earth and stars to their “proper” order.


The ‘Kubo and The Two Strings Story Within Contest’ begins at 12:00:00 am (PT – Los Angeles Time) on October 25, 2016 and ends at 11:59:59 pm (PT – Los Angeles Time) on November 13, 2016 (The “Promotion Period”).

  • Entrant must be at least 13 years old as of October 25, 2016;

  • Entrant must be a current resident of any of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, or possessions and U.S. military installations, to be eligible to enter the Contest;

  • The completed entry (“Work”) may originate in any visual medium but must be submitted at the Contest Site as a single JPG or PNG file at least 2,000 pixels in its shortest length;

  • Entrant must submit a completed entry of an original artwork that depicts an original rendering of the Kubo character from the motion picture Kubo and the Two Strings, which illustrates Kubo overcoming a difficult obstacle, either inspired by the movie trailer or from the Entrant’s own personal experience. You can include characters in addition to Kubo if you wish;

  • Do not include the Kubo and the Two Strings title in an entry;

  • Other requirements and restrictions apply and please read the Official Rules carefully;


The 25 semi-finalists will be chosen by DeviantArt Staff. The first, second, and third place winners will be selected by a representative of Laika Studios. The judges will use the following criteria in whatever degree the judges believe appropriate:

  • Use of Kubo in the Work;

  • Overall Emotional Impact of the Work,

  • Success in Portraying the Contest Theme.

  • Originality and Artistic Skill;

Please read the Official Rules for more details about judging.

Read Official RulesDownload Asset Pack

Blu-ray & DVD Available Now

Buy Now


© 2016 - 2023 GO
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Shadowkey392's avatar
Such a terrific movie.