Founded in 2005, Laika Entertainment have become known for blending a touch of old Hollywood movie magic with the latest technology to create some of the most unique and fully immersive stop-motion animation feature films in theaters today. After teaming up with Warner Bros. on Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, Laika quickly attracted a cult following with its subsequent release of Coraline. Since then, they've produced a feature film (and received an Oscar nomination) approximately every two years, with ParaNorman in 2012 and The Boxtrolls in 2014.
The studio’s fourth film with Focus Features, Kubo and The Two Strings, will be set in ancient Japan and follow the humble life of a kindhearted young boy, Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson), who lives a relatively quiet existence in a seaside village until a sprit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. Described by the creators as a piece of "mystical origami", there has been a largely positive response to the teasers and trailers so far, with each new trailer only serving to strengthen the film's appeal for Laika fans.
The third official trailer (above) teases an epic adventure that fluidly blends stop-motion animation and breathtaking, computed-generated imagery across a series of sweeping landscapes, with the heroic Kubo central to them all and occasionally battling scaly dragons, spirit witches, enormous skeletons and – everyone’s worst nightmare – treacherous weather conditions. And, to coincide with the final trailer, Focus also released four new posters to highlight the varied landscapes, present some potential obstacles and even capture the whimsical spirit at the heart of Kubo’s quest. Check them out below:
Even though the promo material has largely focused on the movie’s eponymous character, Kubo is actually joined by an eclectic and star-studded voice cast that features Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road), Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar), Rooney Mara (The Social Network) and Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel). Perhaps the film's creative team are hoping to attract a more mainstream audience this time around, especially since Kubo is (arguably) their most ambitious motion picture to date.
Meanwhile, fans of the studios past cinematic offerings will undoubtedly be hoping for more of the same, but only time will tell whether or not it will live up to their previous successes. From everything that we have seen so far though, Kubo and the Two Strings seems to be following a promisingly familiar formula of interesting imagery, compelling characters and an imaginative story, so it would seem that Laika and Focus Features will have another hit on their hands for their next collaborative effort.
Kubo and the Two Strings opens in U.S. theaters on August 19th, 2016.
Source: Focus Features/Laika