Regina Spektor transports the Beatles‘ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” to ancient Japan with her haunting rendition of the George Harrison anthem, arranged by Dario Marianelli. The track is featured in Kubo and the Two Strings, Laika and Focus Features’ new 3D stop-motion adventure film, which hits theaters August 19th.
Spektor’s minimal vocal is faithful to Harrison’s original performance on 1968’s The Beatles (or “The White Album”). Marianelli’s arrangement weaves a dense tapestry of string instruments – including a solo performed on the shamisen, a three-stringed Japanese lute – before closing with a reflective piano coda.
Kubo and the Two Strings – one of Rolling Stone‘s 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016 – features voice acting from Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes and George Takei. The Travis Knight-directed film follows a young Japanese boy who must find his late father’s magic suit of armor to survive a world of angry gods and monsters. Kubo is Laika’s latest stop-motion feature, following 2009’s Coraline, 2012’s ParaNorman and 2014’s The Boxtrolls.
“Inherent in this idea of this big epic fantasy was something that could be evocative of those great, epic stories that I loved growing up as a kid,” Knight said in an interview with Collider. “You know, things like Star Wars or a David Lane movie or Tolkien or Lone Wolf and Cub, things like that, that have this sweetness and scale and add some emotion resonance underneath it al … The challenge that we put to our teams to create this Kurosawan myth in miniature.”
Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and performed “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Watch his solo here.