Portland-based Laika animation has just dropped the latest extended trailer for the company’s new stop-motion animation feature, Kubo and the Two Strings, and once again the company has unleashed a feast for the eyes of animation lovers everywhere.
In this latest glimpse of the film, which mixes a healthy dose of CGI with real-life stop-motion puppets and sets, we’re taken even further into the rich and exotic world our main character Kubo inhabits as he prepares to take on an epic adventure.
Magical origami birds fly through the air in wild paper flocks, spooky gods float over an ominous misty lake, and golden armor shimmers as Kubo prepares to take on what appears to be a giant flying serpent. All of the action takes place before breathtaking backdrops of sunlit skylines and titanic ocean waves.
But beyond the visual spectacle, the new trailer gives us a better idea of the plot for this adventure. The film follows clever young Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) who makes his living telling wild stories in his seaside village, while taking care of his (apparently) sick mother. However, he’s no ordinary boy thanks to his magical shamisan, an instrument that allows him to manipulate inanimate objects in amazing ways.
The trailer digs deeper into the story than ever, as we see that Kubo’s missing father was some sort of mythical warrior/magician who has left some work undone. With the help of two anthropomorphic animal helpers, Beetle and Monkey (voiced by Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron, respectively), Kubo is soon thrown into a world of mythical spirits and adventure as he takes on the forces of black magic. And we also see that there will be some fun and mischief along the way to break up the film’s darker themes.
Kubo marks Laika’s fourth feature film. If the trailer is any indication, it seems the company’s mastery of mixing computer imaging with stop-motion puppetry has only increased with each go around, though its first film, Coraline (directed by Henry Selick of A Nightmare Before Christmas), is perhaps Laika’s most gorgeous example to hit theaters, and remains the studio’s best known film. The studio is hoping to change that with its dazzling new picture soon, however, and from what we’ve seen so far, Kubo looks poised to make an equally big splash in the fiercely competitive animation world.
Kubo and the Two Strings hits theaters nationwide August 19.