Yet with the odds still against beating Disney’s “Zootopia” and “The Jungle Book,” “Kubo” has nonetheless made its mark. Director/CEO Travis Knight achieved a new level of technical and artistic innovation with his stop-motion samurai fantasy.
“Kubo and the Two Strings” embraced new challenges that were once taboo in stop-motion and, for the first time, fully integrated VFX throughout every department at the Oregon studio. And, as an added bonus, Laika’s Deborah Cook earned the first-ever Costume Designers Guild nomination for an animated feature.
“The spectacle was hard, the dynamic action sequences were difficult, the martial arts battles were tough,” Knight told IndieWire. “There are moments that are as detailed, as nuanced and as inventive as anything we’ve ever done.”