Kubo & the Two Strings is the newest stop-motion movie from LAIKA! When it comes to creating costumes and the structure of the puppets there is much more that goes into it than just picking out some clothes! Different than any other animation film where pictures of fabrics and research is used, Kubo & the Two Strings has to create the actual fabrics and textures along with how it reacts to heat and stages. It is similar to a stage costume designer of a movie, show, or play!
Kubo & The Two Strings Puppets & Costumes
These costumes are designed for the puppets, which are the actual characters in the animation. While visiting LAIKA I had the pleasure to meet with two great ladies. I met with Deborah Cook the costume designer and Georgina Haynes the Puppet Fabrication Supervisor.
Deborah began to talk to us about some of the main key elements that the fabrics must have when creating the costumes. The costumes in this movie are not tailored but they are unable to have floppy fabric. This is because the animators have to be able to control the fabrics!
Besides having these few key elements in the costumes there was tons of research that went into the color, fabrics, and history of the costumes for the puppets! It is unbelievable how much detail goes into the costuming and creating. Both Deborah and Georgina “George” explained that they always get very detailed at the beginning and then later they can scale down what is needed without losing the quality of the story and design.
George was really nice in breaking down the design of the puppets for us in a simple way:
- They first create a marquette which is a static sculpture to serve as a style guide.
- They have a meeting with all of the heads of each department to determine a huge list of what they need for this character that will go into their large bio. This will include everything from movement to personality.
- They add as much possible details while creating the skeleton of the characters they called “armatures” and how the character will move. Once they have the armature and they go on set the animators will use physical riggers to move the character. These steps are similar to places like Disney Animation studios except these are all being done on actual construction of puppets!
The Kubo and the Two Strings Puppets and Costumes completely amazed me and had mesmerized on just how “COOL” the creation of the film is to make!
About Kubo and the Two Strings in theaters August 19th!
Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Akihiro (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.
Director: Travis Knight
Writers: Marc Haimes and Chris Butler (“ParaNorman”)
Voice Cast: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro, and Matthew McConaughey
Watch the newest trailer below:
Marcie W. says
What an awesome way to make a movie. The people behind this production must have a ton of patience!
Rebecca Swenor says
It sounds like you had an interesting time indeed. I didn’t know there was so much work involved in the costumes let a lone the making of the movie. This movie is one I know my niece’s kids would so love and I can’t wait to see it with them. Thanks for sharing your experience