Isle of Dogs: Reviewed

Image Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Image Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

By Emily Norfolk

We all know Wes Anderson for his quirky and beautiful movies like Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. Some say he is a legend, others a genius, and nearly everyone agrees that has an unparalleled mastery of film aesthetics.  We have already witnessed Anderson's stop-motion prowess in his film Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), but his new movie, Isle of Dogs, takes this skill to a new level.

This peculiar film is about an outbreak of dog flu in Megasaki City, Japan. All of the city's canines are exiled to trash island in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Atari, a 12-year-old boy, and nephew of the evil, cat-loving mayor Kobayashi, sets out to find his bodyguard-dog Spots on trash island. From its description, this film scans as a sweet story about a boy trying to find his dog, but in reality, it tells the story of unexpected friendships, marginalizing the other and the triumph of good over evil.

Image Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Image Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

There are several plot lines to follow throughout the film: the rescue of Spots, the researchers trying to find a cure to dog flu, and the student activists who oppose the rule of Kobayashi. All of the storylines meld together to create a perfect, full circle, resolution. But perhaps the most amazing part of this film is that every meticulously planned frame and jaw-dropping visual is the result of stop-motion animation. This is no easy feat to accomplish, but Anderson has proven himself a master of the art. The behind-the-scenes of this process is mind-boggling and equally as amazing as the film itself.

If you haven’t seen “Isle of Dogs” yet, now is the time to do so. Transport yourself to a dystopian Japan, fall in love with Atari and be prepared to join him on his quest to find Spots.

Steven Norwalk