Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan 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 Kamekichi (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. (synopsis via Coming Soon)
Laika is an extraordinary movie studio.
Their movies – think ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls (one of the best films of 2014) resonate with a vibrant humanity, a joyous curiosity and stories that sparkle with hope and positivity while also being utterly realistic about the darkness that can inhabit us all.
In other words, their stop motion animation is intelligent, engaging, sweet, insightful and moving, pretty much everything you want in a film.
And now they’re gearing up to do it all over again with Kubo and the Two Strings, an epic quest on the scale of Lord of the Rings, in which one young hero had to accomplish a huge amount in a very short period of time.
You know, just the usual find out who he really is, get his family back together and become the man he was always destined to be.
Easy right? If it’s a Laika film you know it’d going to be far more nuanced and substantial than any other animated films you’ll see, save for Pixar superlative efforts, and you’ll walk out of the movie theatre with a renewed appreciation for how good cinema really can be.
Kubo and the Two Strings opens in Australia on 18 August, US pm 19 August and UK on 9 September.