Of any movie set to come out this year, I am the most excited for Wes Anderson’s upcoming stop motion film, “Isle of Dogs”. Like many, I have always been a big fan of Anderson’s very specific and unique style. He is one of the few popular directors these days that have a truly recognizable look and feel to their films. He styles movies in unique ways, most notably his use of the same group of actors in the majority of his films. If you are watching a movie that is unrealistically color coordinated, extremely symmetrical, and features Bill Murray, you know you are watching a Wes Anderson picture. I have always been a big fan of his first film, “Bottle Rocket”. While it may be one of his least popular films, its amazing to see how he began forming his style, and while it is not and intensely stylized, you can see sprinklings of what is to come in his future work.
I feel that Anderson particularly shines in stop motion animation, as seen in “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, and for this reason, I am particularly excited for “Isle of Dogs”. Stop motion animation is a perfect platform for his style; he can manipulate the visuals as much as he wants, making each aspect look perfect (in live action this is more difficult). Wes Anderson often has a lot of humor in his films, and the youthful and childlike qualities of this animation style defiantly benefits from this comedic aspects. As a huge fan of animation, I am always excited to see a animated film that is targeted more towards adults, since I think it is such a fun juxtaposition when you have mature themes in the story line being depicted in a traditionally child centric medium.
The story of “Isle of Dogs” is that of a dystopian future, where all dogs are exiled from Japan and sent to a garbage island. A little boy named Atari goes to the island to look for his lost dog. There, he meets a rag tag group of dogs that help him on his journey to find his pup. These dogs are such a joy to watch, because of how extremely human like they speak and how matter of fact they are. As always, Anderson’s visuals are insanely beautiful. There’s a huge cast of top notch actors, including, but not limited to Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ed Norton, Yoko Ono, and my personal favorite Greta Gerwig. While Anderson’s movies can have a lot of darkness and cynicism at times, theres no denying that all of his films have a lot of heart and sweetness. If you are still not convinced on this film, I would highly suggest checking out the films official website, where the voice actors talk about their characters as their animated characters, its a real gem.