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WATCH: New Featurette Delves into the VFX of LAIKA’s ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

New video spotlights the water effects created for LAIKA head Travis Knight’s directorial debut shortlisted in this year's VFX Oscar race.

In celebration of the inclusion of Kubo and the Two Strings on the Oscar VFX shortlist announced earlier today, Focus Features has unveiled a fantastic new featurette that spotlights the water effects created for the film.

The latest feature film to come from stop-motion specialists LAIKA, the Japanese folklore-inspired Kubo and the Two Strings is based on a story by C. Shannon Tindle, with the screenplay written by Marc Haimes and ParaNorman writer and co-director Chris Butler. The film marks the directorial debut of LAIKA head Travis Knight, who also acted as producer on the project and previously served as the lead animator on Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls.

Nominated for both an Annie Award and a Golden Globe for best animated feature, Kubo and the Two Strings is currently under consideration for nominations in the Animated Feature, VFX and Soundtrack categories for 89th Academy Awards.

The stop-motion/CG-animated hybrid film follows young Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones), who mesmerizes the people in his village with his magical gift for spinning fantastical tales. When he accidentally summons an evil spirit seeking vengeance, Kubo journeys on an action-packed quest alongside newly-found friends Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) to solve the mystery of his fallen samurai father, discover his own magical powers, and reunite his family. George Takei (Star Trek), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (The Man in the High Castle), and Academy Award nominees Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter), Brenda Vaccaro (Johnny Bravo), and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) round out the supporting voice cast.

The epic scale of Kubo and the Two Strings meant that the visuals had to be just as impressive, and the Portland, OR-based studio created groundbreaking VFX for the film. Get a closer look at how the water effects were created in the video below, which includes commentary from director and producer Travis Knight, VFX supervisor Steve Emerson, producer Arianne Sutner, and more:

Source: Focus Features

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.