Tag Archives: Laika

Kubo and the Two Strings – Another Stop Motion Masterpiece

A Beautiful Stop Motion AdventureKubo and the Two Strings poster

Magic, mystery and art are woven into a heroic Samurai tale in the new film, Kubo and the Two Strings. This action adventure story takes us on a dreamlike journey through ancient Japan. It’s visually stunning with a blend of stop motion animation and CG techniques. The film’s heartfelt messages about kindness, compassion and finding one’s own path in life add emotion and drama. Kubo’s serious quest is punctuated by some laugh-out-loud moments. Here’s the official trailer.

Produced by Laika stop motion studios, directed by Travis Knight, written by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler, it debuted on August 19, 2016. Art ParkinsonCharlize TheronMatthew McConaughey, Ralph FiennesRooney Mara and George Takei lend their voices to the film.

Kubo forest setKubo’s Gumby Connection

A number of former Gumby animators and creatives worked on Kubo. The animation and sets were so lifelike. Stop motion has come a long way since the earliest days of Gumby in the 1950s. While the basic process is still the same (taking photos one frame at a time), the technology has evolved. Check out these fascinating behind-the-scenes videos to learn more about how the film was created:

Kubo and the Two Strings Behind the Scenes Time Lapse

Daniel Alderson. Stop Motion Animator

The Story

Kubo, a young boy, climbs down from his mountain cave home where he lives with his mother to dazzle crowds in town with his dramatic story telling each day. He conjures up origami characters that come to life as he plays his shamisen. His inventive tales center on battles that Hanzo, his missing Samurai warrior father, wages with monsters. The stories spin out of control, and Kubo goes on a classic quest to find the magical armor that will allow him to defeat vengeful spirits from the past.

Kubo and The Two StringsReviews

The film is getting great reviews.

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film has an approval rating of 96%, based on 121 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing — and bravely melancholy — story that has something to offer audiences of all ages.”

 Michael O’Sullivan of Washington Post gave the film 4/4 stars, stating that the film is “both extraordinarily original and extraordinarily complex, even for a grown-up movie masquerading as a kiddie cartoon (which it kind of is).”

 Glenn Kenny of The New York Times wrote that “the movie’s blend of stop-motion animation for the main action with computer-generated backgrounds is seamless, creating what is the most visually intoxicating of all Laika’s movies.”

It’s fun for the entire family. Check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

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First Annual Gumby Fest: June 14, 2014, Glendora, CA

Gumby Fest Logo

Glendora, CA – Several film industry stop-motion animation artists will be joining the fun of the premier Gumby Fest to be held June 14 in Glendora, California.

Gumby, the world’s original clayboy and pop-culture legend who starred in more than 230 TV episodes and a movie, “grew up” in Glendora, where the iconic TV series was produced from 1960 to the late 1970s.

The celebration of all-things Gumby as well as stop-motion animation will take place on the grounds of Glendora City Hall and Public Library at the corner of Glendora Avenue and Foothill Boulevard.

Among the family fun at Gumby Fest 2014:

  • “Gumby Through the Years” presented by Joe Clokey, son of creator Art Clokey,
  • Gumby Museum with memorabilia provided by the Clokey family and Gumby producer  Premavision, Inc.,
  • Film screenings of Gumby cartoons, as well as stop-motion animation videos submitted to festival organizers,
  • A Kids’ Stop-Motion Animation Studio conducted by animation artists from Stoopid Buddies Stoodios, home to the longest running stop-motion show on television, Robot Chicken. Children will learn how to produce a stop-motion video they can take home after the festival,
  • Panel discussions about the past, present and future of stop-motion animation with artists from LAIKA Studios, producers of ParaNorman and next September’s BoxTrolls,  along with stop-motion animators who worked with Art Clokey to produce Gumby shows.

Art and Ruth Clokey founded Clokey Films (later renamed Clokey Productions) when they launched “Gumby” in 1955. The studio moved from Hollywood to a larger facility in Glendora, California in 1960 when they began production on 85 “Gumby” episodes and 65 “Davey and Goliath” episodes.

Clokey’s son Joe and his wife Joan employ top animators, puppet makers and set designers in the industry (many of whom were mentored by Art himself) as they continue all things Gumby with Premavision, Inc., and Prema Toy, Inc.

Gumby Fest is produced by the Glendora Chamber of Commerce, Glendora Community Services, Glendora Library, Glendora Rotary and Glendora Kiwanis.

Sponsors include A1 Rentals, The Glendora Library Friends Foundation, Southland Properties, NJ Croce, Undercovers, Crazy Dog Ladies, Alta Pacific Bank, and TAS Advertising Specialists.

For more information about Gumby Fest, call Gary Boyer at (626) 914-6999 (gary@southlandproperties.net), Joe Cina at (626) 963-4128 (joe@Glendora-Chamber.org), or visit www.gumbyfest.net.

 

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