The meticulous director most famous for his recent films; Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel just released his newest artsy comedy, Isle of Dogs. For those unfamiliar with the great Wes Anderson, his films have a very distinct visual and emotional style that resonates throughout each of his films. He’s known for writing quirky characters along with even quirkier dialogue, humor, quick pans, symmetrical shots, and color tones that radiate each film. Isle of Dogs has all of that and is one of his finest.
In Japan, after a potential outbreak of Dog Flu, Mayor Kobayashi enforces a law that puts all of the dogs onto Trash Island, a remote place far from civilization. Atari Kobayashi, the mayor’s nephew travels to Trash Island, in search of his dog Spots, the first dog to be exiled. There, he meets a pack of dogs, all voiced by Bryan Cranston (Chief), Edward Norton (Rex), Bob Balaban (King), Bill Murray (Boss), and Jeff Goldblum (Duke) who help him in his search for Spots. The film also hosts the voices of Frances McDormand, Koyu Rankin, Scarlett Johansson, F. Murray Abraham, Kunichi Nomura, Liev Schreiber, Courtney B. Vance, Greta Gerwig, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel.
Isle of Dogs is a delightful, heartfelt comedy. It is full of everything moviegoers ask for. The film is absolutely hilarious with its constant use of sly humor throughout. Along with the dialogue, it is visually humorous as well, giving the film a quirky personality on its own. The movie is action-packed and yet hones in on humans’ bond with man’s best friend. It’s constantly fun from start to finish without any scene going insignificant or dull.
This is so far Anderson’s most imaginative film yet and that is partly due to the animation style. Isle of Dogs is his ninth feature length film and his second stop-motion animation film, the previous being Fantastic Mr. Fox. Stop motion is one of the most difficult forms of animation and Anderson has somehow become the master at it. There are a few great stop motion animation films like Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit, and Mary and Max, but this style is very scarce. It seems as though Anderson is on the track to make it more well known.
The exquisite detail in Isle of Dogs from start to finish makes the film entertaining, fun, unique and artistic. While many will think of this movie as artistic, that doesn’t mean its pretentious or overdone. The film is a finely crafted masterpiece of canine fun. Oh, and another thing; if you love dogs, you will inevitably love this film. The canines in the movie each give a unique debut performance and will likely feature their scruffy selves in more films to come.
Cutest Pup: Boss for his adorable jersey
Toughest Pup: Chief for his battle with the Robo-dog
Loyalist Pup: Spots for being boy’s true best friend
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some violent images