Isle of Dogs, the latest from the cult followed director Wes Anderson, is a wholesome tale for all dog lovers.
Anderson has produced 12 feature films, as well as a small list of short works and commercials. Each film follows select rules that Anderson has established as his style. Most of his films are dark comedies with dysfunctional families or abandonment. The soundtracks are composed with music from the ’60s and ‘70s with the same people casted from film to film, and a select color pallet tailored to each new movie. His newest film, Isle of Dogs, is no exception.
Isle of Dogs is a tale about an alternate universe where the dog flu has spread through the city of Magasaki, Japan. The mayor has of Magasaki has demanded all of the dogs be sent to Trash Island. Then, a young boy crash lands on the island in search of his dog that was sent there against his will.
With the help of five dogs, Chief, Rex, King, Boss, and Duke, he sets off on a long journey with many obstacles to find his stolen best friend.
Isle of Dogs is Wes Anderson’s second claymation feature film, and the third ever stop motion film in the United States to be rated PG-13.
The movie is written in such a way that the plot twists are predictable, but intentionally so. The red-herrings throughout the entire film give a sense of personal investment in the movies. The plot was original and well written; however, when the movie ended, I was left wanting more. I felt as though the conclusion and climax were the same, and that the non-existent falling action left me lacking closure. None the less, the story built relationships and set out what the Anderson intended.
Visually the movie is striking, the color palette Anderson for this film is comprised of reds, greys and a few choice browns that fits the post-apocalyptic setting of the movie. An under appreciated, and unique aspect of the film is that most of the speaking from human characters was done in Japanese, without subtitles, forcing the viewer to pay attention to the subtleties in the animation, and to draw conclusions based on context–something not often done in animated movies.
Overall the movie was well produced, and clearly a Wes Anderson film. The traditional subject matter for a claymation film, that is done in a nontraditional manner and highlighted with strong characters and heart warming maturation makes for a story that will live on for generations to come. Even with the lack of closure, I would not be surprised if this movie gets many award nominations in the near future.