CMU School of Drama

Thursday, February 23, 2017

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Nominated for Costume Award

Variety: For the first time, an animated feature has been nominated for a prize at the Costume Designers Guild Awards, to be presented Feb. 21 at the Beverly Hilton.

Designer Deborah Cook used her talents to bring to life ancient Japanese characters for the stop-motion film “Kubo and the Two Strings,” created by Oregon’s Laika Studios and distributed by Focus Features and UPI.


Rebecca Meckler said...

What I found interesting about this article is the idea of authenticity in creating the world of the movie. The reason for bringing the idea of costume design into animated theater was that audiences wanted a more authentic experience. I definitely agree that having a believable world makes a movie feel more real, but where does the idea of authenticity come from? In the case of Kubo and the String, is the story a tale an “authentic” Japanese story? Or should we have Japanese actors play the Japanese characters, even though since it's stop motion so you never see the actors. Art Parkinson, the actor who voiced Kubo is an Irish actor and the actress who voiced Kubo’s mother, Charlize Theron, is South African. To me, both of those are also important ways to add authenticity to a story. Though this is a big step for costume designers and in the future more animated movie will most likely start to costume designers, we should keep in mind other ways to make the movie world believable.

Annie Scheuermann said...

Definitely one of the most interesting green page articles I've read in a while. I never really thought about the idea of costume designing in an animated film. Yet, sometimes the costumes are so iconic that it is what defines the character. I'm surprised at how much physical work went into the costumes for Kubo, that actual fabric was used and created. I think the amount of work and attention to detail that went into this aspect is incredible and I'm glad its being recognized by the costuming industry. In my mind I just think animators are the main group of people to work on cartoon films, and don't really consider all the different designers involvement. I really hope this is something that is done more, and can be recognized more, even for movies that aren't looking to have really specific culture and time shown in the costuming. I have not seen Kubo put just looking at the pictures, their is so much texture and detail in what she wheres that the costumers work really does show.

Tahirah K. Agbamuche said...

My heart skipped a beat when I read this article. I have always loved animated and stop-motion films and it saddened me that there was very little recognition about how costume design could play a huge role in shaping the story just as it does any other story. What a character wears is important to any character development live action or on animated, so I am absolutely thrilled that it is finally being recognized! I absolutely agree with the article that Moana was another strong costumed piece. I really feel like this could be the beginning of a new playing field for costume designers, presenting new challenges and technology. I am so excited to be in school when this is emerging in hopes that I will get to work up to that level as it emerges. I can not put into words how excited I am about this development. I hope that this will open up a new perspective to designers for bigger companies such as Disney Animation Studios.

Antonio Ferron said...

I'm happy to see that the work of a costume designer for an animated film is getting this recognition.I personally never really thought about the work of costume designers in animated films, but there's no reason why that work should be valued any less than the work of a costume designer for a live action production. I do wonder to what extent this complicated the adjudication of the nominees. I already have a a slight objection to design awards simply because art is so subjective and it's often hard to distinguish what design is "better" than the rest. Are the specific challenges that the designer for an animated film faces considered when adjudicating the the nominees? As a whole, I think I'd need a better understanding of the adjudication process in order to really formulate an opinion about the subject. One thing I was surprised to discover in this article was that Disney essentially gives the role of a costume designer to animators. Although animators are tasked with doing tons of historical and cultural research for a film like this, the skills of an experienced costume designer are extremely valuable and necessary.