Q: How did Kubo start life, and what was it about this one that made you want to direct it yourself?
A: I’ve always loved big epic fantasy stories.
I think that’s kinda in my DNA because when my mother was in the hospital recovering from having me she read me J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
She loved these stories and as I grew up would buy them for me and read them with me: C.S. Lewis, Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll,
so I’ve always loved these big epic stories and have always wanted to tell a story like that.
Q: Did you still get hands-on involved with the animating too?
A: Oh yeah! I still animated!
I am one of the fastest animators at the studio
so I figured I may not be able to animate at my normal pace
but I did the math and figured I could probably do this many minutes a week,
and then I got into the directing part of it and all that went away!
[laughs] But I still got to animate on the film.
What I would do is get there really early
and animate for about an hour before anyone else got in,
then people would show up, I’d direct all day,
and then after they left I would animate all evening.
So I still got my hands dirty, but it was slow going!