When you say “stop-motion animation” a very specific aesthetic comes to mind. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just how the art form looks. Well, LAIKA has taken a step beyond that with its latest film, Kubo and the Two Strings. The fantasy, samurai-adventure film which hits theaters August 19 doesn’t really look like stop-motion animation.

It looks more like computer animation the team at Pixar would be lucky to have. Look at that water, those environments, that action. And that voice cast? Not too shabby either. The first trailer is above and here’s the poster, which we posted earlier this week.

And here’s the official plot description.

An epic action-adventure from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”) ekes out a humble living, telling fantastical stories to the people of his seaside town. But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a mythical 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 his heroic destiny. The all-star cast also includes George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, and Brenda Vaccaro.

Directed by Travis Knight, Kubo opens in August 2016.

Advertisement

Advertisement

[Fandango]


Contact the author at germain@io9.com.