Every so often you watch a film that is just beautiful, both in story line and visual effects. Today, 16th January, sees the DVD and Blu-Ray release of just such a film. We got to see a preview of the new Kubo and the Two Strings DVD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment recently, and it is totally captivating.
The Kubo and the Two Strings DVD features some stunning animation, including origami special effects as we follow young one-eyed Kubo on his adventures. The young storyteller must uncover the truth of his heritage and go in search of his legacy. Kubo tells his stories, whilst playing a magical shamisen musical instrument which helps wonderful origami figured appear to assist his story telling.
His mother has always warned him that he must return to the their cave home before nightfall to spare him from his evil grandfather and her sisters who want to steal his other eye. But the boy wants to know about his father, a fallen samurai, and when he sees villagers visiting family graves and releasing lanterns on a lake, he follows them and unleashes evil in his wake.
So begins a journey to the truth as he loses his mother, and his wooden Monkey comes to life. They are joined by an insect samurai who has no memory, but knows that he served Kubo’s father.
The story behind the Kubo and the Two Strings DVD is one of good over evil and of undying love. Without giving the plot away, it’s just a lovely, family film and has kept us well entertained here. I can thoroughly recommend the DVD which includes the following bonus features:
- Introduction by Director/Producer Travis Knight: Director/Producer Travis Knight introduces “Kubo’s Journey.”
- Mythological Monsters: The filmmakers and crew discuss the new techniques they used to create the terrifying antagonists. Learn how each monster differed in scale, design, and execution.
- Braving the Elements: A particularly challenging aspect of filming was animating water and rain effects. Discover how LAIKA was able to animate water in the context of a stop-motion film.
- The Redemptive and Healing Power of Music: Learn how traditional and contemporary musical styles were combined by Academy Award®winning composer Dario Marianelli (Atonement) to infuse the film with such a heartfelt sound.
- Epilogue by Director/Producer Travis Knight: Director/Producer Travis Knight discusses what attracted LAIKA to Kubo and the Two Strings.
- Japanese Inspiration: The LAIKA creative team and the cast discuss the inspirations for the story.
- Corners of the Earth: Filmmakers and crew discuss the challenges of the varied landscapes and locations in Kubo and the Two Strings.
To celebrate the release of the Kubo and the Two Strings DVD today, Monkey and I were invited to London recently to have a go at some stop motion animation of our own. Monkey’s had a go at this sort of thing at school, so knew more about the whole concept than his mother! We got to spend time with Chocolate Films and learned how to make Origami Birds (or rather Monkey delegated that task to me). Then we teamed up with the Guppy family from Chelsea Mamma and the kids created their own little animated masterpiece. Kara and I were very much left to dangle flying birds down on the set as the children got involved with movie making. Being the youngest team, they definitely went for the ‘more is more’ approach to set design, but they all had great fun.
We’d been told that this sort on animation requires 25 shots to be taken to create only 1 seconds worth of film. We can now verify that! The kids made their film called Clash of Fun, which you can see below, along with films from the older teams taking part in the event. (You can also see a trailer for Kubo and the Two Strings at the end) They all did really well I think, don’t you?
Credit: Kubo and the Two Strings is out on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms now, courtesy of Universal Pictures (UK)
We had a wonderful time and we’ve sent a link to the film Monkey helped to create to his class so they can all watch it too.
I’ve included my Amazon affiliate link below if you’d like to purchase the Kubo and the Two Strings DVD, you’ll love it, I’m sure.
disclosure: we received a copy of this DVD and were invited to the stop animation event, in exchange for this post. My comments still remain my own honest thoughts.