If you’re a fan of Wes Anderson films, you will be a fan of Isle of Dogs. Wes Anderson movies have a special kind of feel to them that many will tell you, creates a genre of their own. Many Wes Anderson films feel part comedy, part drama, part historical parody, and Isle of Dogs follows all of those trends with a charming and witty film about a boy and his dogs. Let’s take a closer look in our Isle of Dogs review!
Wes Anderson always brings an all-star cast to his films and Isle of Dogs is no different. The voice work of this stop-motion film is some of the best you’ll find in recent years. Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson and even Yoko Ono are just a few of the big names who voice characters in Isle of Dogs. You can tell the love and care these thespians put into their work. The emotions of each character really come through via the voice work, as well as the facial animations and mannerisms of each character.
If you’ve seen The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel, think of Isle of Dogs as a perfect mesh between the two. The fun nature of Fox with similar stop-motion animation, coupled with the witty and sometimes overly dramatic comedic performances from Grand Budapest. It’s the perfect Wes Anderson, film with a strong Japanese influence that almost feels like it could’ve been made by a Japanese writer or director. Kunichi Nomura, who had a role in The Grand Budapest Hotel, assisted Anderson with writing the script, and it shows.
The basic premise of Isle of Dogs showcases Japan in the future after it has been ravaged by natural disasters that split off a part of the island nation into what is now known as Trash Island. A few cat-loving political figures ban dogs from the Japanese mainland, forcing them over to Trash Island to fend for themselves. When 12-year-old, Atari (Koyu Rankin), makes his way over to Trash Island in an attempt to find his dog, a whimsical adventure follows.
On paper, Isle of Dogs might sound like a kids film, and while children will surely enjoy it, this was a film made for adults, just like much of Anderson’s previous work. There are some minor pacing issues as the film, at times, takes awhile to get places, but overall this is one of Anderson’s best. If you’re a Wes Anderson fan, or just enjoy some witty humor or a nice stop-motion film, don’t hesitate to see Isle of Dogs in theaters.
About Isle of Dogs
Synopsis: Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog.
Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Kunichi Nomura
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton
Runtime: 1 Hour, 41 Minutes