ISLE OF DOGS tells the story of ATARI KOBAYASHI, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

What We Thought:

Isle of Dogs is Wes Anderson’s latest film. If you like Wes Anderson films, you will love the movie. If you don’t like Wes Anderson films, you will not like the movie. If you don’t know who Wes Anderson is and think this is a movie for kids, you are wrong.

Over the past decade plus, Wes Anderson has become a genre himself. He makes odd, quirky films with odd, quirky characters and stories involving odd and quirky events. His films, including his non live action films like this and Fantastic Mr. Fox, are shot differently than most other movies. They are framed differently with great production value and thought put into them. Everything is very Wes Anderson-y.

So does this movie fit in with the Wes Anderson genre? 100% yes! The story involves dogs being banned and sent to their own island. The mayor is pro-cat and uses anti-dog propaganda to get the public to give up their dogs. A 12-year-old boy named Atari wants his dog back and comes up with a plan to get him. He lands on the Isle of Dogs and meets a pack of dogs who help him try to track down his beloved Spots and overthrow his uncle the mayor.

The film features a voicecast of Anderson staples and some of the biggest names in Hollywood, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum and many more. Because of names like that in a movie taking part in Japan, idiots have cried whitewashing. Every Asian character in the film is voiced by an Asian actor. The “white” actors voice the dogs. I don’t know how you can cry whitewashing over an animal but people are ridiculous and haven’t even seen the movie yet so screw those asshats.

In fact, two Asian men who were at the screening I was at actually liked the movie. One has seen it twice now and the other said he appreciates Anderson’s respect for the culture. Anderson brought on an Asian actor/writer to help make the film feel authentic and I think it helped the movie. I watch a lot of Asian cinema and I can see the influences on his film. From credits to backdrops and set design, this looks and feels like an Asian film done with Wes Anderson style.

Overall I do enjoy Wes Anderson’s resume. Overall I quite enjoyed Isle of Dogs. I thought the second act was a bit drawn out, but I enjoyed the movie enough. I can see myself watching it again down the road and expect it to have a fantastic Criterion Collection release in the future. If you are a fan of Wes Anderson then the movie is…


Recommended If You Like:

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Wes Anderson

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