To mark the release of Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest stop-motion treasure from Laika (Coraline, The Boxtrolls), Universal Pictures partnered with filmmaker network The Smalls to take a group of animators from all over the world to Laika’s studios in Portland, Oregon for a unique behind-the-scenes look at their incredible production process.
Inspired by their trip, four animators set out to create their own unique interpretation of the film, drawing on Laika’s distinct visual style and storytelling techniques. Watch the wonderful results exclusively below and be sure to catch Kubo and the Two Strings when it hits cinemas 9 September.
“As a stop-motion animator, I’ve been a big fan of Laika’s work since Coraline. The richness of the worlds they create is so captivating and their attention to detail blows my mind with each new film. Visiting the studio and seeing behind the scenes of Kubo and the Two Strings was a total dream-come-true experience for me and I’m so excited to see the finished film!”
“Looking up at Laika, as a young stop-motion filmmaker, is like looking at the only island in the sea. It is a reason to keep sailing, just knowing it exists. I could easily talk about the amazing equipment, the outstanding work, and many other aspects that makes Laika so unique. In fact, I felt way more inspired looking at the people working here. You could taste the energy of a group thrilled to be together, on an island that doesn’t exist anywhere else. That’s the spirit I wanted to take home for my team to make this video.”
“Laika is a phenomenon in the film industry. Starting from the unique mix technique which combines tradition with the hottest tech and CGI innovations, through a very distinctive, beautiful visual language of their films, and finally, exceptional choice of meaningful stories which they tell us. The distinctive role of paper in the original film encouraged me to reduce colours to shades of white and use simplify paper look like forms. On one hand, I thought that might be an opportunity to try something new for me, on the other hand, I just felt that it’s simply better to not compete or mimic Laika’s style.”
“The level of care and attention Laika bring to their craft is intense. Exploring their studio and witnessing the creativity, discipline and ambition on display was exhausting! Everything they do is amazing. So then the question became, with such high standards how are we, tea&cheese, ever going to make something worthy of Kubo and Laika? Forget about things like craft, attention to detail and quality and just make a crudely animated rock music video instead!”
Kubo and the Two Strings is in cinemas from 9 September.
Published 8 Sep 2016
Laika Studios may have delivered their masterpiece with this staggering stop-motion fable.
LWLies reports from the beguiling Bay Area basecamp of one of the world titans of feature animation.