Isle of Dogs Reviewed By Jon E Clist

The Premise
ISLE OF DOGS tells the story of ATARI KOBAYASHI, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

The Review
I am certainly a massive fan of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, the way in which he brought it to life for me was brilliant and captured the Roald Dahl feel while bringing a new approach to it. So, you could definitely say that I was super excited seeing the trailer for a new animated adventure from Anderson. For the most part I was not let down.

While this a bit more of a simpler storyline and certainly a lot weirder in its execution, Isle Of Dogs is still a marvel to behold. The animation is so lush and the characters so diverse yet weird and delightful. A huge amount of work goes into making films in this stop motion animation format and of course when you add in Anderson’s style of multi-layering visuals on screen, I am sure you can imagine it is no simple task.

I thought I should give you a little look behind the magic curtain on how it comes together…


As of 2018, since his 1996 debut film Bottle Rocket, Wes Anderson had used one cinematographer for his live-action films (Robert D. Yeoman), and one for his stop-motion films (Tristan Oliver). He has found the key team members that he loves to work with and has kept those people in place. This I think is a testament to what he is like to work with, that people are on board for the long haul. I think it is his attention to detail in the little things that while you might not recognize them, they help to tell the story from a subconscious manner. Such as all shots from the dog's perspective show no red or green as dogs are partly colorblind and can't see these colours. Also, the hair of the dogs is made out of Alpacca wool.

The cast is so brilliant and yes there are some of the Usual Anderson suspects like Bill Murray, yet there are some of our favourite interesting actors in the mix, such as Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel and Frances McDormand. Interestingly enough, Jeff Goldblum recorded his lines over the phone in California. Because of scheduling conflicts, he could not go to England to record his lines with the rest of the cast.

The Verdict
So amazeballs, and I don’t say that lightly. Not quite as overall amazing as Fantastic Mr Fox but still a solid cinematic outing.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 3rd May 2018
Rating: PG – Contains violence and coarse language
Duration: 101 minutes 
Genre:  Animation/Comedy
Starring: F. Murray Abraham, Bob Balaban, Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Mari Natsuki, Yojiro Noda, Kunichi Nomura, Edward Norton, Yoko Ono, Koyu Rankin, Liev Schreiber, Fisher Stevens, Tilda Swinton, Akira Takayama, Courtney B. Vance, Frank Wood
Director: Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr Fox)