I attended the Kubo and the Two Strings Press Day as a guest of Focus Features.
Kubo and the Two Strings is headed to the big screen this weekend and I can’t wait for you to see it! So what do you need to know before you hit the theater?
I think you’ll like it!
First things first: you should go see it. It’s a great movie. I’m an admitted animation nerd, so I’m willing to own that visiting the studio and holding the puppets in my hands predisposed me to liking this movie. But I’m pretty sure I would have loved this movie even if that had never happened. It’s just that good. And it looks like the critics agree with me. So yes, I think you’ll like it.
It’s absolutely beautiful.
It’s hard to believe that the characters on the screen were created by painstakingly moving tiny puppets on hand-crafted sets, but that’s exactly what you’ll be watching. This movie also fully embraced technology to create breathtaking scenes that were previously unimaginable in the stop-motion genre. Of course the whole point of their impeccable attention to detail is that you forget all of the work that went into creating what’s on screen and just enjoy it. Which might require two viewings. One to just enjoy it, one to watch and go, “How the heck did they do that?”
It’s perfect for the whole family.
The story of Kubo and the Two Strings is a story about family. It’s also an animated feature that will appeal to young and old alike. As to how young is too young? There are some dark elements to the story, and it is rated PG. All but the youngest and most sensitive of viewers should enjoy the entire film without being too frightened.
The music is amazing.
Kubo is a musician in the story, so you would expect music to play an important role in the film. Dario Marianelli composed the score for the film and arranged the beautiful version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps that you’ll hear in the closing credits. It’s already in heavy rotation on my daily playlist.
Stay until the very end.
And speaking of those credits, we’ve all learned by now that we have to watch the credits, right? You’ll want to stick around for Kubo’s end credits for two reasons. First, you’ll get to hear the amazing Regina Spektor sing. Second, you’ll get a quick behind the scenes look at the animation process. (Something of a LAIKA credits tradition.)
Kubo and the Two Strings enters theaters on August 19th.
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), 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.
Director: Travis Knight
Writers: Marc Haimes and Chris Butler (ParaNorman)
Voice Cast: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, and Matthew McConaughey