Isle of Dogs is Wes Anderson’s latest film, and it’s a beautiful, funny, and charming movie for all dog lovers.
When a dog flu virus hits Megasaki City, Japan, all canines are banished to “Trash Island” to live in isolation. But one young boy refuses to give up on his
pet friend, and heads to the island to find him.
Anderson has a style all his own, and it’s difficult to put into words. Is it quirky? Is it deadpan? Hipster? It’s all those things and so much more. It’s simply “Wes Anderson” at this point, and Isle of Dogs is also very much wonderfully done in that style.
Even the animation feels unique to Anderson. It’s stop-motion mixed with a little 2D animation here and there, and there’s an elegant charm to it. It’s beautiful, and it intensifies all of the emotional, tear-jerking moments.
The voice cast is packed with big names. From Bill Murray to Ed Norton to Bryan Cranston to Jeff Goldblum, the list goes on and on. Their performances are all pretty subtle, yet brilliant. It’s very deadpan; most of the emotion comes less from the delivery and more from what they’re actually saying and the accompanying animation. But that deadpan deliver is what sells the majority of the film’s comedy; Dogs is hilarious for those of us with a certain sense of humor.
The story is by Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Kunichi Nomura, with a screenplay by Anderson, and it’s hard to find a flaw in it. The team does an excellent job in keeping everything tight; there’s almost no fat to this film. Each frame deserves your full attention in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-something fashion, which keeps the pace high, along with your interest level. And the whole movie’s told from the point of view of the dogs, an interesting twist that creates a strong emotional attachment in the audience (unless you’re more of a cat person).
If you’re a Wes Anderson fan, or a dog lover, you’re going to love Isle of Dogs. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it’ll make you hug the crap out of your own dog when you get home from the theater.