Despite being somewhat disappointed by The Boxtrolls, I very much admire the type of work LAIKA does. Coraline and ParaNorman are both beautiful, inventive films that are as heartfelt as they are ambitious, and it pleased me to no end when they signed on to release three more film with Focus Features. Today they’ve announced the first of those films, Kubo and the Two Strings, which they describe as a “sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in mythical ancient Japan.”
We could probably just stop right there because I’m already sold, but Travis Knight – LAIKA’s President and CEO, who is making the jump from lead animator to director with this film – goes on to describe the film as “if Stand By Me was set in a Temple of Doom through the prism of Kurosawa on a bender of bath salts.”
Here’s Deadline’s description of the story:
The script is taken from Japanese folktales and mythology and centers on young Kubo, who lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior.
I love, love, love the sound of this. It has a mythic quality to it that brings to mind Miyazaki and Harryhausen in equal measures.
The movie is currently set to be released in August of 2014 and will feature the voice talents of Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Brenda Vaccaro, and Art Parkinson. And yes, in case you were wondering, it will be a stop motion animated film.