The more we see of LAIKA’s stop-motion animated, CG hybrid extravaganza, the more magical it becomes. Focus Features released a new Kubo and the Two Strings trailer (this time with clips of the voice cast in action), in addition to a batch of character posters and stills. If it’s not already on your own personal list of most highly anticipated films, you might want to reconsider.
Moongirl (2005), Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), and The Boxtrolls (2014) all fall under the LAIKA banner, and Kubo and the Two Strings follows in the grand tradition of stop-motion animation. This film is an odyssey taking place in ancient Japan where a young boy named Kubo, equipped with his magical shamisen instrument, sets out on a quest to save his family from a nefarious spirit he accidentally summoned.
Watch the trailer for Kubo and the Two Strings below:
Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron make their animated movie debut with Kubo. Their characters, Beetle and Monkey respectively, are spotlighted with their own character posters and PEOPLE’s premiere of images. Director Travis Knight told the magazine that McConaughey read little sections of the script to his children each night:
“That was his way of bringing the story to life and connecting with his children – it essentially became a bedtime story for the McConaughey family.”
If it’s good enough for Rust Cohle’s kids, it’s good enough for us.
Kubo also features the voice talents of Art Parkinson (little Rickon Stark in Game of Thrones), Rooney Mara, George Takei, Ralph Fiennes, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (47 Ronin), and Brenda Vaccaro (You Don’t Know Jack). The film will be released on August 19th. Here’s the official synopsis, followed by more new images and posters:
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), Akihiro (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.