Kubo And The Two Strings, a new stop-motion animated feature, will be in theaters this August. Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to visit LAIKA Studios to get a behind the scenes look at the making of the film. You can read my interview with Director Travis Knight and Producer Arianne Sutner on The Mommyhood Chronicles.
Today I wanted to share a closer look at the sets used to bring Kubo and The Two Strings to life.
Each set was filled with incredible detail.
Special attention was given to features like lighting, allowing each lamp to be controlled individually.
Interior sets were given just as much detail, down to securing tiny props to ensure continuity from frame to frame.
Some sets are created in duplicate versions, to illustrate different points in the film’s story.
Paper leaves were laser cut and applied by hand to create the origami boat set.
Green screen technology was used to bring scenes like the “Garden of Eyes” to life.
Special controllers were designed to give the animators a more intuitive way of controlling the over-sized puppets.
And over-sized takes on a whole new meaning when viewing the skeleton featured in the “Hall of Bones” scene.
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