LAIKA’s ‘Kubo,’ ‘Boxtrolls’ Get 4K UHD Treatment From Shout! Factory

Another double-header of critically acclaimed, fan-favorite and Oscar-nominated stop-motion feature films from LAIKA are preparing to make their Ultra High Def debuts in new SteelBook sets through Shout! Factory this winter: Kubo and the Two Strings and The Boxtrolls.

Supervised by LAIKA’s filmmaking team, the 4K remasters feature HDR and Dolby Vision plus Dolby Atmos for the ultimate entertainment experience.

Rolling out on February 28, 2023, the Kubo and the Two Strings 4K Ultra HD + Blu-Ray (Limited SteelBook Edition) and Kubo and the Two Strings 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray (Standard Edition), as well as The Boxtrolls 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray (Limited SteelBook Edition) and The Boxtrolls 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray (Standard Edition) come loaded with previously released bonus features from LAIKA’s archives.

The February releases join the previously announced 4K Ultra HD + Blu-Ray (Limited SteelBook Edition) and the 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray (Standard Edition) editions of Coraline and ParaNorman, both available December 13, 2022.

All four LAIKA 4K UHD titles — Coraline, ParaNorman, Kubo and the Two Strings and The Boxtrolls — are also available digitally for purchase or rental on all major platforms starting December 13, 2022.

The shot-by-shot remastering process for both titles was overseen by the team at LAIKA, led by LAIKA CEO (and Kubo and the Two Strings director) Travis Knight and visual effects supervisor Steve Emerson. The use of Dolby Vision results in vivid colors and exacting picture quality, with brighter highlights darker shadows. The films were also mixed in Dolby Atmos spatial audio for greater clarity, resulting in an even more immersive experience for fans.

Showcasing LAIKA’s inventive stop-motion and CG hybrid technique, both films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Featured Film. Kubo and the Two Strings was also nominated for Best Visual Effects.

The SteelBook releases (pictures above) feature new hand-drawn art from carefully selected illustrators: The Boxtrolls cover was created by Cancun-based illustrator and art director Cesar Moreno, known for creating bold and vibrant illustrations; and the Kubo and the Two Strings art was drawn by Kevin Tong, an artist living and working out of Austin, Texas.

Kubo and the Two Strings (Limited Edition SteelBook) (4K UHD)
Kubo and the Two Strings 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray

Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan. The film follows clever, kindhearted Kubo as he ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town. 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 and Beetle 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 and the evil twin Sisters to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.

Voice Cast: Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Art Parkinson, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brenda Vaccaro. Screenplay by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler. Produced by Arianne Sutner, Travis Knight. Directed by Travis Knight.

Special Features:

  • Feature-Length Storyboards
  • Inside LAIKA — Revisiting the Puppets with LAIKA’s Animation Team
  • Inside LAIKA — Confronting the Epic Challenges of Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Audio Commentary with Director/Producer Travis Knight
  • “Kubo’s Journey”
  • Original Featurettes

The Boxtrolls (Limited Edition SteelBook) (4K UHD)
The Boxtrolls 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray

This comedic fable unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend residents have always believed. In truth, the Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs who wear recycled cardboard boxes the way turtles wear their shells. The Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned human boy, Eggs, since infancy as one of their dumpster-diving and mechanical junk-collecting own. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by villainous pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher, who is bent on eradicating them as his ticket to Cheesebridge society, the kindhearted band of tinkerers must turn to their adopted charge and adventurous rich girl Winnie to bridge two worlds amidst the winds of change — and cheese.

Voice Cast: Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Dee Bradley Baker, Steve Blum, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan and Simon Pegg. Produced by David Bleiman Ichioka, Travis Knight. Screenplay by Irena Brignull, Adam Pava. Based on the book Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow. Directed by Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable.

Special Features:

  • Inside LAIKA — Discovering the Characters of The Boxtrolls with Never-Before-Seen Test Footage
  • Inside LAIKA — Revisiting the Puppets with LAIKA’s Animation Team
  • Feature-Length Storyboards
  • Foreword by Ramin Zahed, the Editor in Chief of Animation Magazine
  • Audio Commentary with Directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi
  • The Making of The Boxtrolls
  • Original Featurettes
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