We being Barking Mad About Films, love a dog film so Wes Anderson’s new stop-motion animation film, Isle of Dogs, was an obvious must-see film for us.
However, we have to say its storyline for us was heartbreaking so we were not sure how much we would enjoy this one.
Set in a dystopian near-future Japan, its leaders led by Mayor Kobayashi (Voiced by Kunichi Nomura) would seem too much prefer cats, have to manage a dog crisis which threatens to endanger human life.
Their solution is to exile all dogs to Trash island, an island where all the waste and rubbish had been kept. The Island becomes overrun with dogs seeking food and drinkable water through all the garbage.
Of all these dogs, only one boy from Japan, Atari (Voiced by Koyu Rankin) the ward of the Mayor of all people, heads to the island to bring back his dog, Spots (Liev Schreiber) I can assure you if Pepper and Teddy were exiled to the island, I’d have gone to live with them, so found this part of a storyline a bit hard to take, it seems only Atari and some scientists who believe they have a cure nearly made are the only ones who seem to care.
Atari comes across a group of dogs; Rex (Edward Norton); King (Bob Balaban); Boss (Bill Murray); Duke (Jeff Goldblum) and Chief (Bryan Cranston) and he manages to get his message across to them that he is looking for his lost dog Spots.
Rex immediately offers their services, which they all agree as they all love their owners, with the exception of Chief, who was a former stray and mistreated so does not feel they owe human anything.
The film then takes us on 2 paths, one we follow Atari and the dogs searching trash island for Spots and also back in Japan, a group of students led by Tracy Walker (Greta Gerwig) who believe that the dog flu is not as serious as the leaders have made it out to be, especially after the head scientist working on the cure, Professor Watanabe (Akira Ito) dies after being poisoned.
With Tracy trying to prove the dog exile is actually part of a huge conspiracy and works to get the evidence to prove it.
Back on the Island, the dogs head for the search meeting characters who help them on their journey including Jupiter (F. Murray Abraham); Oracle (Tilda Swinton); Gondo (Harvey Keitel) also possibly the most important is Nutmeg (Scarlett Johansson) who helps to soften Chief, who over the film will bond with Atari and understand the loyalty the other dogs show to their owners, despite them not coming to island to find them.
Will they find Spots? We would absolutely urge you to find out by watching this beautiful film, the message if looking at it from the dogs is wonderful, it shows their love and compassion for each other and humans. The characters are all excellent, we loved this film, different and a joy to filmmaking.
We have never really been a huge fan of Wes Anderson’s work but maybe we now need to revisit them as this really has opened up our eyes to him.
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