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Who Needs Sequels When You’ve Got Kubo And The Two Strings?

Looking back on the summer of 2016, it’s safe to conclude that Hollywood’s still relying far too heavily on familiar properties. With sequels, remakes, and spin-offs filling the multiplexes, moviegoers have been left with little original material to get excited about. One noteworthy exception is Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest animated effort from Laika, the company behind Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls.  Simply making an original film is newsworthy enough in this day and age, but Laika has gone even further, pledging a refusal to make sequels.

kubo

Speaking to Cartoon Brew, Laika president (and Kubo director) Travis Knight made it clear that he has a strict anti-sequel policy. “I take a firm stand against sequels,” he said. “My industry brethren are a little shocked at how firmly I’m committed to not doing sequels. Of course, there are great sequels. The Godfather: Part II, The Empire Strikes Back. But I think if you look at where our industry is going, it’s dominated by franchises and brands, re-dos, remakes, sequels, and prequels, where all these old presents are re-wrapped and offered up as new gifts. The pendulum has gone so far in that one direction.”

Elaborating on this concern, Knight reflects on the increasingly complicated relationship between movies and television. “As TV has become more like movies, movies have become more like TV,” he explained. “It’s gone the other way. There are these serials, these continuing stories that are a regurgitation of the same things we’ve seen over and over again. And I have no interest in doing that.”

While this is an undeniably admirable position, Laika has yet to deliver the kind of full-fledged blockbuster that would warrant a sequel. If that ever happens, we’ll see if Knight’s able to resist the temptation. While you’re waiting for that to happen, be sure to make time for the company’s latest triumph, Kubo and the Two Strings, which is in theatres now. For a quick overview of Laika’s unique methods and sensibilities, check out the new featurette below—about Kubo’s epic opening sequence.

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