Big budget movies these days seem to have no sense of originality. Wading through all these unoriginal and uninspired films, eventually you will find an excellent new idea with brilliant execution.
“Isle of Dogs” is a fully-animated, stop motion film by Wes Anderson. Anderson is famous for his work in other interesting films such as, Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001).
All of Anderson’s previous films have received fairly positive reviews, this left many fans excited how his big new film would turn out. Their hope and excitement was not in vain.
“Isle of Dogs” follows a pack of dogs who have been banished to trash island and find young pilot in his attempt to find his dog Spots (Liev Schreiber).
This is a simple enough concept, definitely not anything crazy, but where this movie really shines is in the execution. It takes such a ordinary story and manages to create something truly extraordinary.
One of the main things that sets this movie apart from the rest is it’s overall presentation. As mentioned before this movie is completely stop motion, giving it a different feel, but beyond that it has a stylistic approach to the concept. Each shot is head on and seems more like an art piece that tells a story. Almost everything is drained of its color, showing you how bleak our heroes’ situation is.
One fear I had when going to “Isle of Dogs” was that it’s artistic style would distract from the main story, but I can assure you that this is far from the truth. Isle of Dogs uses it’s unique art style to compliment the story perfectly, without overwhelming you.
The cast for “Isle of Dogs” is phenomenal as well, with actors such as Bryan Cranston (Chief), Edward Norton (Rex), Bob Balaban (King), Bill Murray (Boss), and Jeff Goldblum (Duke). Each of the amazing actors in this movie gave stellar performances conveying the bleak and hopeless situation that they are in. As a side note, it is slightly amusing that all the dogs are voiced by middle-aged men.
One of my favorite characters is Tracy Walker (Greta Gerwig), a foreign exchange student who gathers her classmates and protests for the rights of the abandoned dogs. She provides some of the best moments in the movie.
One minor gripe I had with “Isle of Dogs” was that most of the minor dog characters have little to no character development. Although it’s reasonable to have most of the screen time and main story revolve around Chief, most of the other dogs in the pack barely do anything to contribute anything to the plot or grow as characters. But in the end this is a minor problem and it doesn’t make the film any less amazing.
Overall “Isle of Dogs” was a fantastic movie with an incredible artstyle, a great wholesome story, and a phenomenal cast. It is clear that an enormous amount of care was put into every aspect of it. I would recommend this movie to anyone.