Isle Of Dogs

Genre:Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rating:8.5  Rate
Collection:  Seen It     Wishlist 
Community: 10 Have Seen

DirectorWes Anderson
Selected CastBryan Cranston as Chief
 Koyu Rankin as Atari
 Edward Norton as Rex
 Bob Balaban as King
 Jeff Goldblum as Duke
 Bill Murray as Boss
 Kunichi Nomura as Mayor Kobayashi
 Akira Takayama as Major Domo
 Greta Gerwig as Tracy Walker
 Frances McDormand as Interpreter Nelson
 Scarlett Johansson as Nutmeg
 Liev Schreiber as Spots
ProducerWes Anderson
 Scott Rudin
 Steven Rales
 Jeremy Dawson
WriterWes Anderson
SoundtrackAlexandre Desplat

On DVD & Blu-ray World


Isle Of Dogs - 20th Century Fox - Netherlands (2018)


Comments and Reviews
Magic Marmalade
15th Feb 2023
 Rated 8/10
Wes Anderson's stop-motion super-symmetry masterclass.

One of those movies which has a blend of apparently disparate elements, that it would never have occurred to you that they would go well together, until you sit and think about it for a moment, and go... "yeah, actually, that makes perfect sense!"

The elements here being first: It's a Wes Anderson movie...

His ultra precise, perfectly symmetrically framed cinematic style, with those quirky, perfectly parallel sliding tracking shot movements, in an almost, moving diorama look.

The perfect compliment to the second... The precision and style required by stop-motion animation; Here a style built from different animation techniques, of models in stop-motion, over two dimensional animated set elements, which give it an almost anime / manga quality.

All of which, is rounded off by the final perfect piece:

Being set in a kind of dystopian nearly future Japan.

Not being overly familiar with Japan myself, I couldn't really say if this is an accurate representation of that country, and it's cultural elements, except impressions I have. like anyone else, of a very subdued, precise (that word again!), conservative culture, very deliberate, and exacting in it's essence...

...All of which, make for a Swiss watch of a movie, but one not lacking in heart, and warmth, with some genuine moments, as well as elements of genius in it's execution.

A tale of a near future, where dogs have been overwhelmed by a plethora of diseases, agues, and maladies, which prompt the human population of the fictional city of Megasaki. led by the stern mayor and his advisers, to decree that all dogs be exiled to a small island: The Isle Of Dogs, to live, and forage among the waste and refuse of the island as strays.

Atari, the mayor's adopted son though, has other ideas, and sets off, in defiance of his Father, to find his dog, Spots, previously assigned to be his companion, and protector after an accident.

Crash landing on the island in his plane, this "Small Pilot" immediately takes up with a group of dogs, and they set out together to help find Spots.

Basically, it's about a boy and his dog, as told through the eyes of the dogs of the island.

The subtle genius moments here, are that Wes uses a brilliant device, of having a kind of United Nations / news report translator (Frances McDormand) to translate the Japanese, but sometimes, with a mixture of Japanese and English subtitles displayed as an almost artistic feature of the film, there often is only Japanese... The dogs speak English, and so cannot understand, or be understood by the humans, who speak Japanese, so using this apparent disadvantage to great effect in showing the difficulty in dogs and humans understanding each other - very clever!

There's also, the occasional Ferrris Beuller style, look to camera, by one of the stop-motion dogs, which adds to the wickedly funny moments and jokes / gags in this sharply written piece, with Anderson's signature humour.

The final touch that often had me laughing out loud was when the dogs get into a scrap (especially with the robot dog!), and a kind of looney tunes cartoon style cloud of dust appears, and the various odd limbs are seen poking out from this frenetic maelstrom - a fist, a tail a leg etc.)

I loved this whole thing, and I hope Wes Anderson makes more of these animated movies, because, like Tim Burton's: A Nightmare Before Christmas, an ordinary stop-motion movie is elevated by a distinctive film maker's sensibility, and style.


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