There’s more exquisite beauty and stop-mo complexity in the latest trailer for Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19, Focus Features).
Kubo and the Two Strings (Aug. 19 from Focus Features) and witness a glimpse of greater stop-motion supremacy by Laika, embracing samurai and mythic Japan in ornate fashion.
Kubo embraces samurai and mythic Japan in ornate fashion like a cross between Kurosawa and Harryhausen. The delicate characters and costumes are particular standouts.
No wonder Laika president/CEO Travis Knight wanted to make his directorial debut with Kubo: it contains an opulence and majesty very new to stop-motion and has attracted a prestigious voice cast (Oscar-winning Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey and Oscar-nominated Ralph Fiennes and Rooney Mara).
Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kameyo (Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Theron) and Beetle (McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Mara) to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.
Kubo is produced by Arianne Sutner (ParaNorman), scripted by Marc Haimes and with Chris Butler (ParaNorman co-director) Shannon Tindle (Google Spotlight’s On Ice) getting story and character design credits. Brad Schiff (The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, Coraline) serves as animation supervisor; Frank Passingham (Coraline) is DP; Steve Emerson (The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, Coraline) is VFX supervisor; Nelson Lowry (ParaNorman) is supervising production designer; Georgina Hayns (The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, Coraline) is creative supervisor, puppet fabrication; Deborah Cook (The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, Coraline) is costume designer; Oliver Jones (The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman) is animation rigging supervisor.