Plan a spring break trip to the ‘Isle of Dogs’

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 at 5:15 PM
Plan a spring break trip to the ‘Isle of Dogs’ by Livia Homerski
Graphic: Shelby Kirk

This March, we have yet another opportunity to be transported to another meticulously whimsical world of director Wes Anderson’s creation. “Isle of Dogs” is Anderson’s second animated endeavor, the first being “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009), the adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book of the same name. The trailer for “Isle of Dogs” was released Sept. 21, and the actual film is scheduled for release on March 23, 2018.

“Isle of Dogs” takes place in a dire dystopian future where the mayor of Nagasaki decrees that all dogs are exiled to an island due to an outbreak of “Dog Flu” and overpopulation. The narrative follows five dogs, Chief (voiced by Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), Boss (Bill Murray), Duke (Jeff Goldblum) and King (Bob Balaban) as they try to help Atari Kobayashi, a boy from Japan, on a quest to find his dog, Spots. As if the search is not daunting enough, the Japanese government sets out to capture Atari and bring him home.

Voices from Wes Anderson’s usual entourage lead the pack, but “Isle of Dogs” features the vocal talents of many other Hollywood alum, such as Tilda

Swinton, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Ken Watanabe and even Yoko Ono.

According to an interview with IndieWire in early 2017, Anderson was influenced by Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion creatures, and Rankin/Bass Productions’ animated holiday specials, such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” He cites the most heavy influencer of this film as legendary Japanese director and screenwriter Akira Kurosawa.

“The new film is less influenced by stop-motion movies than it is by Akira Kurosawa,” Anderson stated.

Seeing Anderson sink his muzzle into animation again is very exciting, especially stop-motion animation. Stop- motion animation is a difficult undertaking, due to the tedious and microscopic movements that bring the film to life. However, Anderson’s eye for even the most scrutinous of details will no doubt obediently serve this film well. Even the detail in the trailer is impressive with its subtle color schemes, textures and movement.

As a major “Wes Fanderson,” I’m ecstatic that he’s doing another film, and one that is animated nonetheless. Anderson has ambition, something that I feel a lot of current blockbuster directors lack. His unique and curated style of set building and filming has led to a large fanbase of movie consumers and connoisseurs alike.

The themes of Anderson’s movies also hit home with a lot of viewers, including myself. He tackles issues of family complications and heartache, with unusual situations and sometimes borderline neurotic mavericks reminding us of our own quirks and habits. The writing usually offers something of a tall tale, a crossover of fiction and reality, especially in films like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Royal Tenenbaums.”

I am immensely excited to see what risks Wes Anderson takes in “Isle of Dogs,” and immerse myself in a new story. As with any Anderson creation, it will certainly warrant a few rewatches in order to catch all the details. Even the title is curiously and cleverly deliberate, just say “Isle of Dogs” three times fast. Regardless of how you feel about dogs, I believe this motion picture will be a must-see in 2018.

Livia Homerski can be reached at 


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