“With every film that we make, we want to do something unique, something original, to tell stories that aren’t typically told in animation” says Travis Knight, President and CEO of the stop-motion studio Laika. As a new featurette for Kubo and the Two Strings illustrates, their next venture marks another unique take on a familiar genre.
Following the eerie Coraline, the ghostly ParaNorman, and the lighthearted Boxtrolls, Kubo is Laika’s “stop-motion samurai film,” says Travis. It’s an epic tale of one boy who, armed with a magical instrument called a shaminsen, embarks on a journey to save his family from an evil he inadvertently unleashed.
“If something seems like it can’t be done, that’s normally when we show an interest in it,” says screenwriter and head of story Chris Butler, who calls Kubo “the most epic thing we’ve ever done.” We got a chance to go behind the scenes of this stop-motion animation/CG hybrid film, but you can get a feel for the amount of work that was used to bring this story to life in the featurette below:
Art Parkinson (a.k.a. Rickon Stark on Game of Thrones) voices the title character, while the voice cast in rounded out by Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Ralph Fiennes, and more.
Kubo and the Two Strings will hit theaters on August 19. Here’s the official synopsis:
An epic action-adventure from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. 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 (Academy Award nominee 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 (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew 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 (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.