Excuse the horrendous headline, but we finally got round to watching Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. Having waxed lyrical about his last efforts, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Fantastic Mr. Fox, we’re now here to cover the director’s artistically witty asides. It’s another excellent outing, as you’d expect, so let’s see (without spoilers!) what Mr. Anderson achieved with his four-years-in-the-making animated project.
Isle of Dogs
Right, in one paragraph, the plot involves a bunch of dogs in Japan exiled to a island due to an “outbreak” of canine flu. A young lad called Atari Kobayashi heads out to find his beloved mutt, in the process befriending a pack of dogs and uncovering a pernicious goverment conspiracy. There, all done in one paragraph! As we said we would. Aren’t we skillful?
As with Fantastic Mr. Fox, the stop-motion-animation is something astonishing to behold. Even the all-star cast (including the likes of Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand… and Yoko Ono has a small part, too!) does little to take your attention away from the exquisitive attention to detail.
Wes Anderson is remarkably methodical in his approach to filmmaking and it’s, once again, obvious in Isle of Dogs. But this is no kids film, no matter how appealing it may seem to children – the subject matter is dark, there’s a lot of inspired social commentary, and even a couple of fantastic haikus. But then there are scenes such as this…
As a film, it’s certainly a strong contender for one of the best of 2018 – definitely one of the most inventive. We felt the plot meandered a bit aimlessly at times, especially towards the end, but there’s still enough dark, witty humour and stand out moments to keep you more than enthralled for the entire runnig time. Should you see it? Yes! Do so! Now!
If you’re wondering quite how Anderson and his crew go about achieving that remarkable look, the above clip is for you. Stop-motion-animation is notoriously diffcult – you need the patient of a patient person, several years of spare time, a meticulous attitude, and dare we mentioned even a streak of relentless perfectionism. The result for all that hard work? A film as stunning as Isle of Dogs.