Earlier in the day on Monday the 28th, the Annie nominations were announced. Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings received ten nominations. Needless to say, their holiday party later that evening was filled with cheer and celebrations as Laika’s President and Director of Kubo and the Two Strings networked around Nobu: Los Angeles.
The setting couldn’t have been more fitting. Kubo and the Two Strings is set in Japan and tells the story of young Kubo. Kubo teams with a monkey (voiced by Charlize Theron) and a beetle (Matthew McConaughey). Armed with his magic stringed shamisen, Kubo sets out to find pieces of his late father’s mythical, superpowered samurai’s armor. A perilous quest ensues.
Director Travis Knight says he grew up obsessed with fantasy epics such as Lord Of The Rings and had been, “looking for something that was epic in nature that spoke deep truths in childhood and life.”
Arianne Sutner who served as a producer on the film was in jovial spirits over the nominations and said it was a proud, but a humbling moment. “It truly was a labor of love that took five years to come to life.”
Sutner talked about the intricacies of creating the outfits and sets for stop-motion. “Many settings were built full-scale; others were a combination of miniatures, classic matte paintings, and CG set extensions.” She added that visual effects team spent lots of time studying waves to create that beautiful and menacing look we see in Kubo. “Those waves you see, those took eight months to come up with that rolling sea.”
Kubo and the Two Strings has also been named Best Animated Feature by the National Board of Review.
Check out the photos from the event which had some of the characters, artwork and outfits we see in the film on display.