Isle of Dogs Movie Review

Isle of Dogs is director Wes Anderson's 9th feature film and his second stop-motion animated feature. Anderson is a mastercraft of blending awkward perky humor with delightful cinematography and production design that further elevates his story-telling. The story is simple enough: in the future, the dogs of Japan have developed a flu that cause an outbreak, affecting millions of lives. To prevent this, they are shipped to a trash island away from civilization. It is up to young 12 year old Atari, a young boy who flies to the isle to find his dog along with the help of other dogs.

 

This is a gorgeously animated feature with a heart felt story and terrific voice acting. I found myself chuckling at Anderson's attention to detail in every frame and his placement of humor in character quirks or designs. The voice acting is quite terrific with special props given to the Japanese actors as well as supporting nods to Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, F. Murray Abraham and Bill Murray. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is how the Japanese language is interpreted. Instead of having subtitles, there is English translation done in such a way that is amusing, clever, and not yet quite seen before in film.   

 

The score is perhaps the weakest element of Isle of Dogs. If not for the pieces of drum work through sparse moments in the film, the soundtrack can be quite forgettable. Isle of Dogs is one of the year's best and certainly one of Anderson's best films to date. Dog lover or not, check this one out.