LAIKA Entertainment, known best for its stop-motion animated wonders like Coraline, Paranorman and The Boxtrolls, continues its classic style with the upcoming Kubo and the Two Strings. There have already been a pair of full-length trailers, both of which gave us a magical peek into the oriental-fantasy-adventure film. It centers around a young storyteller named Kubo who accidentally conjures up an angry spirit from the past. He is forced to team up with unlikely partners — monkey and beetle — to save his family and solve a mystery surrounding his father.
Just as their previous films have done, LAIKA mixes stop-motion animation with modern special effects, creating a unique aesthetic that few can rival. Two String’s Japan setting is also a very refreshing location for an animated film, particularly since there’s a noticeable amount of fantastical elements, many of which are reminiscent of the country’s history and culture.
Travis Knight, the lead-animator and producer on LAIKA’s works, now takes the director’s chair. The film features the voices of Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew McConaughey, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. Along with the big names involved, the film looks to be a wonderful mesh of gorgeous visuals and a heartfelt story. It more than likely will be a contender for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars next year if it ends up being as great as the footage has been.
Kubo and the Two Strings opens in theaters on August 19, 2016.