Kubo and the Two Strings is a stop-animation film about a young Japanese boy who seeks to find his late Father’s armor in order to ward off vengeful spirits. With the help of unlikely but loyal friends, Monkey and Beetle, as well as a little magic he forges through the unknown in order to save himself and the honor of his family. We’re happy to bring you the 5 fun facts from Kubo and the Two Strings we learned from sitting down with the cast and creator!
5 FUN FACTS FROM KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
1- Connecting to the character.
A huge part of the film is the strength of the relationship between Kubo and his mother. This is something that Art Parkinson, voice of Kubo, identifies with strongly.
For me, for every project I do, me and my mom do a lot of work together…We study the character. We talk about the different ways that we can portray the character…I could relate to it [his character, Kubo], because me and my mother are very close…so I thought about how I’d want to treat her, very respectfully, and I brought that into my character. – Art Parkinson
2- Labor of love.
Creating a stop-animation film is no easy task! It’s a tedious, highly technical and super creative process and takes hours, upon hours of work. 1,149,015 hours, to be exact.
The pace is glacial…It takes forever to do these things. You know, on a good week an animator will do maybe four or five seconds of footage and for me it was even worse because I was, you know, I was directing the film, running the company. I’m like, hey, I can animate, too. No problem! It didn’t work very well.
– Travis Knight, Director and CEO of LAIKA
3- First timers all around.
Both Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron experienced their first time as the voice of animated characters. And Travis Knight, CEO of LAIKA and long-time animator, took his first stab at directing. All three were excited that the new process was fun and that their kids can see the film and enjoy their hard work, too!
I’ve always joked that my kids would have to be 52 before they saw any film I’m in. So it’s nice that that has now changed…I loved it. I’d never done a voice, either, other than to my son sometimes when I’m reading and he would always say ‘don’t do that!’ I was nervous too because I didn’t know the process, but the process is very relaxed and very much like other films. It’s really coming back to the foundation and the core of storytelling. – Charlize Theron
4- A family affair.
Matthew McConaughey, who plays “Beetle” the well-meaning but forgetful samurai beetle, knew the viewers of Kubo would be much different than those of his typical films. To discover more about his character, he read the script to his kids and watched their reactions to see what they would find funny, sad, or scary.
My kids favorite movie characters are always the ones with the buffoonery and physical humor; it’s the underdog in the story who is the most goofball or the outcast they’ll be rooting for…I was excited to play the comic relief in the story…They still, to this day, because they’ve seen it will walk by and ask me something and then say something like ‘oh I suppose you forgot.’ They still jeer me a little about that. – Matthew McConaughey
5- All shapes and sizes.
Origami plays a huge role in the story of Kubo as well as in the actual creation of the film. The Kubo puppet was 9 inches tall and animators had to construct 30 of them over the course of the film. Conversely, the Little Hanzo puppet that Kubo often folds or carries with him stood only 2 inches tall- “the shortest puppet ever animated in a LAIKA movie.”
Kubo and the Two Strings is in theaters August 19th! Be sure to join the quest.
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