Although Kubo and the Two Strings marks Matthew McConaughey's first animated film, the actor admitted that his interest in voice acting preceded his involvement in Laika's latest stop-motion fantasy.
"I'd been looking for a voice acting role for years. When this came along -- it's a quality production, Laika's quality, the story's good -- I was in," McConaughey told Variety at the film's Los Angeles premiere. "I haven't made many films lately, in the last 15 years, that are children-friendly so it was nice to make something that [my kids] can go to."
The Oscar-winning actor plays a light-hearted human-turned-insect in the fantasy epic, which follows a young Japanese storyteller's mystical quest to defeat evil and protect his family's legacy. Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, and George Takei also lend their voices to the film, which marks Laika CEO Travis Knight's directorial debut.
For Kubo screenwriter Marc Haimes, the goal was to spark imaginative, boundless thinking in young viewers -- an effect he recalled experiencing while watching classics like The Empire Strikes Back during his childhood. "It was my ambition to create those moments that really challenge a kid and expand their definition of how stories and storytelling works," he said.
Kubo and the Two Strings opens in Australian cinemas this week (August 18) through Universal Pictures.
Watch the trailer