Laika's Next is 'Kubo & the Two Strings' with Matthew McConaughey
by Ethan Anderton
December 22, 2014
After delivering beautiful, stop-motion animated masterpieces like Coraline, ParaNorman and this year's The Boxtrolls, Laika and Focus Features have just announced their next collaboration to be Kubo and the Two Strings. The original production is described as sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in a mythical ancient Japan, and they've rounded up quite a voice cast with Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes and Brenda Vaccaro. They'll all be under the direction of Annie Award winner Travis Knight, who is also Laika president and CEO, making his directing debut.
Here's a piece of concept art featuring the title character, revealed by Laika and Focus Features:
The script comes from ParaNorman scribes Marc Haimes & Chris Butler and here's the synopsis:
In the epic fantasy, scruffy, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living while devotedly caring for his mother in their sleepy shoreside village. It is a quiet existence – until a spirit from the past catches up with him to enforce an age-old vendetta. Suddenly on the run from gods and monsters, Kubo’s chance for survival rests on finding the magical suit of armor once worn by his fallen father, the greatest samurai the world has ever known. Summoning courage, Kubo embarks on a thrilling odyssey as he faces his family’s history, navigates the elements, and bravely fights for the earth and the stars.
Knight, whose passion for stop-motion animation is clear, says:
“'Kubo and the Two Strings' is a rare gem. It’s a gripping yarn woven from Japanese folktales and mythology, with lost civilizations, mystical origami, noble heroes, star-crossed lovers, and blood-curdling monsters. At once epic and intimate, 'Kubo' is a funny, intense, and ultimately uplifting fairy tale draped in some of the most bizarre and exciting imagery I’ve ever seen. Most importantly, it’s deeply moving. It’s a story that means something, a story that deserves to be told. In short, it’s a Laika movie. And with a poetic script, sublime cast, and our freakishly talented artists and craftspeople, 'Kubo' will be a strange, stirring, and altogether stunning film. I can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Sounds like another promising, original tale from these animation masterminds. Anytime there's a new Laika film, you can bet that I'll be buying a ticket, and this one is no different. We've got a while to wait for this one though since Focus Features set a release date on August 19th, 2016, marking the first film in the new three-picture deal between Focus and Laika. We'll definitely be excited to get a first look at the film once the release date gets closer. In the meantime, don't forget that The Boxtrolls is nominated for Best Animated Film at 2015 the Golden Globes and it hits Blu-Ray and DVD early next year on January 20th.