Even though Disney/Pixar is doing quite a bit with their animation, they are not the only ones in the game. In fact, one of the better ones is Laika. Never heard of them? Perhaps you have seen Coraline, Paranorman, or The Boxtrolls, as the company is the master of stop-motion animation and will be releasing a very epic feature with Kubo and the Two Strings later this summer. This is what is known about Kubo and the Two Strings release date and the complicated process of stop motion animation from Laika.
You can watch the trailer for Kubo and the Two Strings below, and it takes place in Japan with Kubo (Art Parkinson), a normal boy leading normal life until a spirit of the past upsets his life. It is up to Kubo to journey to find some mystical armor in order to fight the big bad enemy, and he receives help from a Monkey (Charlize Theron) as well as a warrior named Beatle (Matthew McConaughey).
It looks and sounds pretty incredible, and it is all done with the power of stop-motion animation. That's right, those figures are moved, then a picture taken, then moved again, a picture taken, and so on until your scene is done. iO9, who visited Laika, at their studio in Portland, has stated that all in all, they get about 2 seconds of animation per week on a single set. Considering that the typical animated movie is about an hour and a half, you can figure out how much work goes into one of their films.
Not only do you have to do the animation, but you have to build the sets. Those little sets that need to look very authentic for the audience, as well as accommodate what the animators want to do. To help with this process, the studio uses a lot of 3D printing, and Kubo himself is the first stop-motion character ever.
Of course, Laika works with some computer animation in order to get some of the effects to work, like water, for example. Then there are some advancements in stop motion animation such as The Hollow Bones, a giant skeleton who is 18 feet tall, with a wingspan of 24 feet. There is also an eel character named Moon Beast which uses different lighting for its effects.
It really looks like something to see, and personally, I love to see more stop motion, too bad they are a challenge to make. I saw the film Paranorman, and I thought I was watching a computer animated feature. Granted CG films are difficult, but the process is getting more fluid so the viewer can't really tell. I also will recommend the film The Boxtrolls as it has in its ending credit sequence a demonstration of how meticulous the process of stop motion really is.
Check out Kubo and the Two Strings when it hits its release date on August 19, 2016.