Set in the not too distant future, canine population has become overbearing, and the animals are starting to develop deadly diseases that could bring about their demise. So all dogs are moved to a far away, secluded trash colony devoid of all humans. We follow the story of Chief (Bryan Cranston) and his pack of dogs that includes Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Boss (Bill Murray) and Duke (Jeff Goldblum). They’re sick of eating scraps, wanting a new life away from Trash Island, and that’s when opportunity arises. Atari (Koyu Rankin) crash lands on the island in search of his lost dog Spots (Liev Schreiber). Together, the dogs and Atari venture out in search of Spots.
Not only is the film very funny and delightfully stylised, Anderson’s script is full of heart, poignancy and raw emotion. Sure, it’s a tale of dogs secluded in a world of trash, but it has the same personal feel as that of The Royal Tenenbaums or The Darjeeling Limited. Most of the supporting dog characters feel somewhat underdeveloped and only there to serve the arc of Chief, which is a shame given the immense talents of the voice cast, but they are only supporting players in a film fuelled by a-list celebrities. Still, most of them get disregarded in the third act, but I guess it’s Chief story that resonates the most so having him at the forefront makes sense narratively speaking.
This is, as well, one of Anderson’s most visually enlightening films to date. For me, Grand Budapest Hotel still takes the cake, but that doesn’t detract from the sheer beauty found within Isle of Dogs. It’s bright, bouncy and colourful, with a real keen cinematic eye and stop motion animation that’s to die for. As it stands, Isle of Dogs is the animated film to beat in 2018. All subsequent attempts, including the hotly anticipated Incredibles 2, have a lot to live up to in this unique and illustrious look at civilisation.
You May Also Like: