Friday, December 11, 2015

The "Kubo and The Two Strings" Teaser Shows Laika Continuing to Expand Their Style in Interesting Directions

Scene from Kubo and The Two Strings
There are few trailers for animated films that are as exciting as Laika Studios. The company that has revolutionized stop motion animation with digital effects and innovative story telling have done wonders by crafting family films that mix beautiful imagery with challenging stories. While the studio's output is small, three major films to date, each entry has shown at least some growth that proves why you should be taking them seriously. In the case of their latest, 2016's Kubo and The Two Strings, they come back to the game with one of their best teasers yet. From the team that brought you ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls comes their latest film, which looks to be just as innovative and challenging as everything they've done before. And that's a good thing.

As anyone who has been a long time reader of The Oscar Buzz can attest, I love Laika Studios, potentially more than Pixar. Even if their output is small, they still have managed to create some of the best animated films of the past 10 years. I defy anyone to watch Coraline and not be appreciative of the craft that went into that film's surrealism. Even the playful character designs of The Boxtrolls is worth the price of admission. Their work is definitely some of the most playful and exciting to appear. Likewise, I enjoy their marketing materials - of which tend to be as vague as the average marketer, but with hints of the animation to come.

I don't know a lot about Kubo and The Two Strings. However, the trailer popped up today and I have been eagerly watching it since. While I do consider The Boxtrolls to be an ambitious misstep, I still look forward to whatever they do next. Thankfully, the new film looks to be just as good as you'd expect.

Check out the trailer below:

Loks really good. Here's the plot according to IMDb:
Kubo 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.
That definitely sounds exciting. I especially like that Laika Studios is moving away from specifically making horror-based movies.  Don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed their take, which is some of the most refreshing content I have seen on the subject. I am just curious to see what they can do with rapid movement and bigger worlds. Even if this fantasy story is an off shoot of horror in vague ways, I still think that there's a lot that can go right in expanding the general appeal of Laika beyond their macabre stories. I don't know much beyond this trailer, but even the way that they animate the water has a distinctive quality to it that is getting me excited. Here's hoping it's that good. Expect more conversation about it in 2016, closer to its summer release. 

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