Award-winning director Wes Anderson’s new Claymation movie, Isle of Dogs, is a charming and fresh take on the budding relationships between dogs and people.
The film follows the story of a pack of alpha dogs (Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray) who are stranded on an island off of Japan, known as Trash Island, after dogs are banned from the country for supposedly spreading diseases. One day, a young boy named Atari (Koyu Rankin) travels to the “Isle of Dogs” looking for his dog Spots (Leiv Schreiber) so that the two can return home. But government conspiracies and shady secrets lead to a tough yet heart-warming journey as the pack of alpha dogs help Atari across the island.
Anderson brings his comedy “A game” with Isle of Dogs and uses more dark undertones to make his character’s personalities more unique. Isle of Dogs also features a slew of Anderson mainstays, like Murray and Goldblum, and brings on other veterans actors to create characters that are diverse and have real emotions. Their interactions with one another are constantly humorous and always add something new to the plot (even if it’s a little dry and overdone at times).
Atari’s desire to rescue his beloved dog is touching and something that many viewers can relate to and understand. Isle of Dogs does what most film like it have tried to do: showcase why the dogs are truly man’s best friend. This story never feels stale and only drags slightly when the plot goes into a flashback to give the viewers a full scope on what is going on.
Isle of Dogs definitely has the most basic of plots, compared to Anderson’s other films, but it is his best because of this. While it has multiple storylines going between different characters, Isle of Dogs feels more streamlined and audiences won’t find themselves confused or lost within what is happening on screen.
There is also careful attention paid to Japanese culture in Isle of Dogs which add to the setting and makes for an interesting world to explore in Claymation.
With characters that are charming and adorable, Isle of Dogs is possibly Wes Anderson’s best film. It has light-hearted and touching moments that will make viewers grow a little fonder of man’s best friend.