The genius animators at Oregon-based Laika are generally good for about one movie every two or three years, which isn't tremendously fast compared to their much-larger competition. The tremendous amount of work that goes into their stop-motion animated projects has led to three memorable features in Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls, so when they have something new on the way it's a big deal.
Their latest film, Kubo and the Two Strings, features the voice talents of Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, and George Takei, easily the most star power they've ever boasted. The mystical story takes place in Japan and follows a young boy who must find the legendary samurai armor that once belonged to his father. Here's the full synopsis:
"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. "
Laika has yet to have a breakthough hit on the level of Pixar or Dreamworks, but maybe the big names will help turn that around. Kubo and the Two Strings opens August 19th 2016.