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‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Trailer is a Soaring Tale of Magical Promise

Every once in a while, something comes along that looks totally new, like nothing you’ve seen before and fills you with wonder. Animated films have this great capacity for inspiring imagination and with stunning visuals and great storytelling, have brought to life amazing tales. Now comes Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest from LAIKA and looks to follow in that studio’s stellar tradition.


Like Boxtrolls and Coraline, LAIKA has made some wholly original films that are meant for children, but unlike most animated movies, don’t treat children with kid gloves. They challenge children to face a number of emotions, including fear and sadness, and trust them to work things out as they should. This looks to do the same. With Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson), they will follow the adventures of the titular boy, who lives in Japan with his mother in a small seaside village. He spends his time telling stories to the townsfolk but in so doing, summons a great and sinister spirit from his past, who brings chaos to the people and forces Kubo to go on the run, battling monsters with his musical shamisen, hoping to solve the mystery of his long lost father, the greatest Samurai who ever lived. Here’s the trailer:

The trailer is nothing short of magical, and holds a lot of promise for the finished film. With a remarkably powerful rendition of The Beatles ‘While My Guitar Gently Sleeps’ building to a near spine-tingling crescendo, the imagery is breathtaking. A stunning mix of stop-motion characters in CG environments, the look of the film is very inviting, with warm earth tones and bright, vivid characters. While the film features a number of big name Hollywood talent, including Charlize TheronRooney MaraMatthew McConaughey, and Ralph Fiennes, the trailer puts its energies in showing us the world they live in rather than the stars that populate it. That’s a smart move, and shows how confident the makers are in their craft. Also, check out these beautifully rendered character posters, just released.

Directed by Travis Knight in his directorial debut, Knight has been behind such successes as ParaNorman, Coraline and the Boxtrolls. What really grabs me about the trailer is the attention to detail and the symmetry in the design, with things like the cave entrance a near perfect matching shape to pick Kubo uses on the shamisen (which by the way is traditionally a three-stringed instrument). It’s the little things like this that make these movies a more enriching experience. This is a great trailer.

Kubo and the Two Strings open August, 2016.

What do you think? Are you a fan of stop-motion animation? Let us know in the comments below.



Travis Knight


Marc Haimes (screenplay), Shannon Tindle (creator)


Rooney Mara, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey

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  1. Andrew January 28, 2016
    • David January 29, 2016