Isle of Dogs
There was a time where I disliked Wes Anderson films. Then I saw The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited and then turned the corner. I was a fan of his previous stop motion animated effort, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. So as soon as I heard about The Isle of Dogs I was excited to see it. I’m not sure if its better than Fantastic Mr. Fox or ranks among Anderson’s best but Isle of Dogs is smart, funny, and quirky. That’s what we’ve come to expect from Wes Anderson.
The backdrop for the film is a dystopian Japan, where a dog flu virus has spread throughout dogs. The mayor has decided that the best course of action is to send all dogs to Trash Island. Meanwhile, a cure for dog flu is being tested and the nephew of the mayor travels to Trash Island to find his recently banished dog, Spots. The film has a bevy of voice actors, a few of who have previously worked with Wes Anderson.
I’m not going to comment on the “cultural appropriation” that has taken wind recently. You be the judge on that and form your own opinion. The film’s animation is great as expected. That was the strongest part of Fantastic Mr. Fox. The stop motion is beautiful as expected. The film keeps that general Wes Anderson charm and has that slight humor that is a staple in this type of work. The film has very memorable sequences and a tightly constructed story that is told creatively.
Its hard not to love these dogs in the film. Its a good fun time, which is what was needed. I respect Wes Anderson for adopting a certain style of film and exploring different avenues of technique in film to explore his talent. While, I don’t think Isle of Dogs is among his very best, it’ll charm many people and delivers the goods as it should. I love dogs!