Though some of people found their last film, The Boxtrolls to be an uncharacteristically underwhelming entry from the up-and-coming studio, Laika isn’t letting anything break their stride. And why should they? Boxtrolls aside, Laika still has the excellent Coraline and the fantastic Paranorman under their belts, and if I had two animated films of that caliber to my name you can bet I’d have a lot of swagger going on.
And it looks like Laika might be adding a third home-run to their roster, because just LOOK at this new trailer for their new film, Kubo and the Two Strings. Though we know relatively little about its plot, characters and world, the visuals on display in Kubo are absolutely breathtaking, doubtlessly the most refined and beautiful in Laika’s already impressive library of stop-motion films.
A fantasy epic set in ancient Japan, Kubo looks to be taking a lot of visuals ques from things like Avatar: The Last Airbender (The show, not the movie), Samurai Jack and scores of classic samurai films and Japanese myths and legends. Which kinda makes you wonder why the principal voice cast includes named like Rooney Mara, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes and Matthew McConaughey. Sure, George Takei and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa are also present, but the principal cast is flooded with white faces-er, voices, with most of the film’s Japanese voice cast looking to be in smaller roles. This could have easily been an opportunity for Laika to foreground some talented Japanese or Asian-American voice talent, but they instead seem to have gone for more star power.
This problem aside, Kubo and the Four Strings looks like a fun and visually stunning adventure, and you can see for yourself below.