One of the byproducts of living with two young granddaughters is we tend to watch more animated films in our home than we might otherwise. One of the benefits of this reality is that many such movies are teaching some important life lessons that are often missing in what grown-ups often encounter in many adult-oriented films, not to mention the national news, political discourse, and the other stuff we encounter in everyday life.

Kubo and the Two Strings is nominated for Best Animated Feature Film in this year’s Oscars. Kubo loses his father and his mother and unleashes a couple of evil spirits determined to destroy him. He embarks on a quest, accompanied by a monkey and a giant beetle, to solve the mystery of his fallen, samurai father, and along the way, discover his own magical powers.

Particularly in these challenging times, when so many people believe there is so much going wrong in the world, Kubo reminds us of the power of sharing our stories, the power of family, and most important, of our own power.

In the event you’re a grown-up reading these words, and you think you’re too mature for animated films… trust me. You aren’t. Embrace your inner child, or snuggle up with your grandchild on the couch, and join Kubo on his grand adventure.