LAIKA is currently the best stop-motion studio in the world - from a purely technical point of view; but it's also a place where the story and characters matter. Which makes it awesome. After Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls, here's a first look at the next movie from the Oregon-based company: Kubo and the Two Strings.
It appears that once again LAIKA is pushing the boundaries of what can be done within the stop-motion medium (although it's pretty clear some of these shots required some CGI). The epic scale and adventurous vibe aren't too shabby, either.
Kubo and the Two Stings is directed by Travis Knight (also President and CEO of Laika) on a script by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler (ParaNorman). The film is set to be released on the 19th August in the US, while the UK will have to wait for the 9th September, 2016. Here's the official synopsis:
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.